February 22, 2016

Riley Hospital for Children will receive $610,086.23 in donations from students who raised the record amount during the Ball State University Dance Marathon.

A glimpse around the Field Sports Building revealed the shock on the faces of sweaty dancers who, exhausted after 12 hours on their feet, were unable to contain their emotions at the news. They surpassed the $550,000 goal and topped last year’s record by more than $100,000.

“My jaw dropped, and I covered my mouth with my hands and couldn’t move for a solid minute,” said Samantha Hunt, a senior BSUDM morale committee member. “Everybody was crying, and then I started crying, too.”

More than 1,300 students came out for the weekend’s event, dancing, playing games and taking part in wacky and wonderful activities—head shaving among them—that showcased their dedication to the cause.

“We were all so proud of the efforts on behalf of the Ball State community,” said Evan Ziebell, BSUDM media relations director. “We truly lived to our name as the 'Miracle in Muncie' as we brought so many miracles back to the Riley children and their families.”

Since its humble beginnings at the Alumni Center in 2008, BSUDM has raised more than $1.8 million for Riley. The donations fund the hospital’s Magic Castle Cart, which distributes gifts to patients, and the palliative care program, which includes services for families facing the challenges of a life-limiting diagnosis.