Northwestern Students Net Over $1 Million in Dance Marathon

The Northwestern University Dance Marathon, which took place recently at Norris University Center, raised a record $1,019,130.

It’s the first time in the marathon’s 37-year history that it netted over $1 million.

One of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation, the 30-hour dance marathon benefitted The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) and the Evanston Community Foundation. More than 900 students danced in a tent on the East Lawn of the Norris University Center while several hundred spectators cheered them on.

CHF is the only organization focused on bringing health, hope and happiness to children and families affected by congenital heart defects through funding life-saving research and providing unparalleled services for affected families.

“The research that will be funded thanks to NUDM will impact children and their families for generations to come,” says Bill Foley, Executive Director of The Children’s Heart Foundation. “We look forward to the day that we can answer the question of ‘Why did this happen to my child?’ ‘How can my child’s heart defect be treated?’ and more importantly, ‘How can congenital heart defects be prevented?’”

Throughout the year, more than 300 committee members helped organize events to raise awareness and build connections between the student community and the beneficiaries. Events included a Top Chef competition, a Battle of the Bands, the first ever MiniDM at Oak Park River Forest High School, weekly trivia, and a Family Feud competition.

While the annual Dance Marathon took place, Norris University Center also hosted other NUDM events such as a kids fair, spa, silent auction, and a cappella concert at which many Evanston residents, non-dancing students, alumni and faculty, and other guests showed their support.  Beyond the student center, NUDM supporters participated in coinciding events such as a 5k/10k run around the lake fill, Evanston Eats percentage meals at participating neighborhood restaurants, and celebratory alumni “AlumNite” parties across the country.

This year, the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate passed resolutions to recognize the Northwestern University Dance Marathon weekend (March 4 to 6) for its mission of uniting Northwestern University and nearby communities through education and philanthropic fundraising throughout the course of the school year.

For more information about this year’s partnerships as well as Northwestern University Dance Marathon itself, please visit