Welcome to StevensTHON
Updated: Apr 7
Hello from StevensTHON!
We are 23 days away from the biggest event of the year, StevensTHON’s 8th Annual 12-Hour Dance Marathon! From now until then, we will be posting blog posts sharing our Dance Marathon experiences and highlighting what we're looking forward to! On Friday, April 21st, we will be up from 7pm-7am with food, games, special raffles and prizes, performances, and more!
What is Dance Marathon and how did it start?
Ryan White was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS following a contaminated blood transfusion at 13 years old. After he was denied the ability to go to school because of AIDS-related discrimination and a fearful community, he spoke out and fought for his right to go to school, hang out with friends, and live a normal life. His fight inspired many to rally together. The summer before he was to attend Indiana University, he passed away. In 1991, a group of his friends led by Jill Stewart, wanting to celebrate and keep Ryan’s memory alive, started Indiana University Dance Marathon. They raised $10,900 in their first year.
In 1994, 4 more universities joined the fight against pediatric illness. This created a movement, a generation fighting for the next.
Since then, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has become the largest student-run philanthropy in the United States. With over 400 campuses participating and over $350 million raised for kids since 1991. CMN Hospitals raise funds for 170 local children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. Together, we work to help improve children’s health and give them the opportunity to reach their full potential.
History of StevensTHON
StevensTHON started during the 2015-16 school year at Stevens Institute of Technology. Through our year-round fundraising efforts, we raise money for Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. Every donation goes towards helping kids receive physical rehabilitation services, special care, and equipment and assisting their families with financial support. CSH helps support kids from newborns to age 21 with physical injuries, chronic illness and pain, and developmental behavioral disabilities. Most importantly, we want to give these kids the opportunity to just be kids!
Since 2014, traditions have arisen and prospered such as Spell-a-THON, our annual spelling bee competition between student organizations, celebrating Child Health Day, and creating the Morale Dance. We have worked with local Hoboken businesses as our sponsors in the community to host special events and support our fundraising efforts. We have collaborated with Greek Life, Athletics, and Student Organizations at Stevens each year to join together in changing kids health. Even through Covid-19 causing the 2020 Dance Marathon to move to a virtual format and student leaders working through a remote/hybrid environment in 2020-2021, StevensTHON has continued to persevere and bring students, faculty, staff, coaches, and the rest of the Stevens community together in such a special way.
Together over the last 7 years, we have raised over $220,000 for our miracle kids. We’re super excited to continue on this journey and have Dance Marathon be a prominent part of the Stevens community.
What can I look forward to in this year’s Dance Marathon?
This year’s Dance Marathon theme is Candyland! We will be transforming UCC Tech Flex into the classic board game and we’ll have plenty of candy to go around! We will have DJs for all 12 hours, food, giveaways, raffles, special performances, and plenty of dancing. Our awesome fun activities this year include:
Mini Fashion Show with FAME! (Stevens Fashion Association for Marketing and Entrepreneurship)
Minute to Win It!
Some students attend for an hour or two, others stay with us the entire night! Either way, it’s extremely rewarding to celebrate all our hard work to help our miracle kids. Dance Marathon is truly one of the most unique things that you can experience in college here at Stevens.
We would love for YOU to join us in any way that you’re able to! Go to stevensthon.com and follow us on Instagram @stevensthon to learn more about us and keep up with us as we gear up for this year’s 12-Hour Dance Marathon on Friday, April 21st!
Kids Can’t Wait,
Avery Murillo, Internal Director
And the 2022-23 StevensTHON Executive Team