Photos by Morgan Lieberman
Published March 13, 2017
MizzouThon is the largest student-run philanthropy at Mizzou. After months of fundraising, participants hold the main event, a 13.1-hour dance marathon, the second Saturday of each March at MizzouRec. Dancers raise thousands of dollars for Children’s Miracle Network patients and families as well as for research. Originally known as Dance Marathon, the fundraiser began at Indiana University in 1991 to help a young boy named Ryan who had HIV. It has become an annual year-long journey for hundreds of college campuses and high schools across the country to “support the right to be a kid.” Mizzou joined in 2008 and changed the name of the campus tradition to MizzouThon in 2014. This year, MizzouThon raised more than $304,000 with about 1,200 dedicated dancers, each of whom raised at least $100 to participate in the March 11 event. Proceeds go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; the Music Therapy Program; and the Telehealth, Love and Care Program at University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Tyler Jackman, director of recruitment, plays the role of Tooth Fairy with Miracle Kid Margaret Romph at MizzouThon.
Participants at MizzouThon sign a large chalkboard throughout the day to show their support for the kids as well as to represent the organizations they are dancing with.
Mizzou Masti performs mid-afternoon.
Miracle Kid Connor Strope leads a dance circle.
Miracle Kid Carli Putnam takes a photo break with her adopt-a-family, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
Face painting is a custom at MizzouThon, as are outfit themes that change by the hour. This year included Disney and Hawaiian themes.
Junior Anjali Desai and senior Sumidha Katti decorate each other’s faces.
Mizzou junior Jordi Stack, a leadership recruitment member for MizzouThon, has been participating in the event since her freshman year. Also a member of Phi Mu sorority, she loves that Children’s Miracle Network is the chapter’s official philanthropy; it gives her the opportunity to recruit sorority members to participate. This year, 100 Phi Mus registered. They won the Miracle Cup trophy.
Juniors Nate Compton and Cassidy Minarik strike a pose at MizzouThon. Both are members of the leadership team and assist with recruitment as well as team morale.
Nonstop entertainment characterizes MizzouThon, from noon Saturday to approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday, when the event ends.
Louie Scola, a special events leader for MizzouThon, shares a moment with a fellow leadership team member.
MizzouThon dancers laugh at their new choreography while they watch participants on stage.
A Kappa Delta MizzouThon dancer participates in one of several dance lessons.
Visiting kids enjoy the opportunity to dance with family members as well as college students.
Elevate Entertainment Company deejays the main event.
Strobe lights are turned up and recreation center lights are turned down during the final hours of MizzouThon, leading up to the grand reveal around 1 a.m.
Miracle Kid Declan Johnson gets the crowd excited for the last hour of MizzouThon.
MizzouThon recruitment leader Hanna Reinkemeyer holds miracle kid Dominic Watkins for a few pump up songs toward the last hour of the event.
MizzouThon dancer-investment leader Conrad Rohman practices his backflips in front of the dancing crowd minutes before the grand reveal.
The combined efforts of thousands of donations got the MizzouThon final fundraising number to more than $304,000, an all-time record. In 2016, the MizzouThon final number was $276,641.11.