BuckeyeThon: One Team, One Dream, One Million

This is a special year for BuckeyeThon. This year, BuckeyeThon is trying to raise $1,000,000 For The Kids.

That’s right — 6 zeros.

The dancers are giving it their all to accomplish this incredible goal, with the hope of forever changing the lives of kids fighting cancer.

As a former participant, I am here to answer some questions I know I definitely had before doing the dance marathon. Some commonly asked questions:

What exactly is BuckeyeThon? 

BuckeyeThon is Ohio State’s largest student-run philanthropy, which raises funds year-round for the fight against pediatric cancer. All of the donations go toward supporting the kids who are treated on the Hematology/Oncology/BMT Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Some events sponsored by BuckeyeThon include CarnOval, Extra Life, High School Dance Marathon, Miracle Miles 5K and, biggest of all, BuckeyeThon: The Dance Marathon.

On February 6-7th, more than 4,000 Ohio State students will participate in the dance marathon! This is the largest number of participants to date Students are required to raise a minimum of $100 to participate, but they are encouraged to raise more. All efforts are made in order to bring the year’s goal one step closer!

I’ve never done a Dance Marathon (DM) before, what is it? And do I need to know how to dance? 

A dance marathon is basically a 24-hour long event, which is broken up into two, 12-hour shifts. The Scarlet Half happens from Friday night to Saturday morning, and the Gray Half happens from Saturday morning to Saturday night. Participants choose their shift during registration.

You definitely do not need to know how to dance! No one cares what you look like dancing or what kind of crazy, wacky dance moves you have because everyone is their to support the Miracle Kids. Also, a dance marathon is a LOT more than just dancing!

Throughout the event, you will not only dance, but you can do other fun and hands-on activities as well. For example, students can meet the Miracle Kids for whom they are dancing, donate their hair, do yoga and maybe even meet Miss Ohio!

Not only are activities provided, but so is food. Dancers are given two full meals and a snack during the event. So don’t worry about packing a meal, but definitely pack a snack, just in case.


Why should I do it? 

If you’re still asking yourself that after I just described all these awesome events, just remember:

Buckeyethon 1

What should I wear?

Everyone is put on a color team, so you basically wear the colors of your team. I would suggest having fun with your outfits because people go all out for this event! And, this might be only time in your life that you can wear a tutu for almost 12 hours.

Dress (comfortably) to impress! I suggest you wear comfortable shoes. You will be required to stand for the whole shift, and thus sensible footwear is a must.

Also: if you own a fanny pack, this is the time to blow the dust off of it and put it to good use! Fanny packs are so handy because they don’t interfere with your ability to dance and have fun and they also can hold important items such as your phone and some money.

What should I bring? 

  • BuckID
  • Phone and Charger: You need that phone to be fully charged so that you can document all the fun you’re having! (Pictures or it didn’t happen, right?)
  • Cash or Credit: So you can wear some of BuckeyeThon’s apparel, and look super fly after the DM
  • Snacks: Cannot emphasize this enough, you’ll need to keep your energy up for 12 hours, it’s good to be prepared
  • Deoderant: I’ll just leave it at that

Any other tips? 

Make sure you get plenty of sleep before your shift! Remember this is a marathon and no one starts a marathon running on a couple hours of sleep.

Meet someone new at the DM. Being in the Union for 12 hours, you’re bound to meet someone new and who knows, maybe by the end of your shift, you could leave with a new friend.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN! The Dance Marathon only happens once every year and what better way to kick off spring semester than by supporting BuckeyeThon and taking a stand against pediatric cancer.


Final thoughts…

Last year, I participated in the Dance Marathon and it was definitely the highlight of my freshman year. I remember the opening ceremony where we got to meet all the Miracle Kids, and they were so adorable and looked so happy to be there! I knew at that moment that I was not only doing it for them but I was also doing it to for their families.

I danced and laughed the night away. During the event, I got the chance to meet so many inspirational dancers whose families have been affected by pediatric cancer. Listening to their stories made me realize how important this dance marathon is  to the Ohio State community and I was truly glad to be a part of it all.

13 Things BuckeyeThon 2013 Taught Me

We’ve all heard it: “For The Kids” or “FTK“. But what exactly does that mean? Kids…okay so that means small humans. For them? Baking for them? Creating games for them? No, it’s so much more than that. BuckeyeThon is Ohio State’s dance marathon that raises money and support for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The ultimate goal is to get one step closer to curing childhood cancer – a goal we would all like to see achieved within our lifetime (and hopefully very soon). Dancers participate in a 12-hour session filled with music, dancing, competitions, and cheering for these amazing kids. As a freshman last year, I participated in the 2013 BuckeyeThon. Here are highlights from my experience, and an overview of what the event meant to me.

1. These children are little superheroes.

Not many of us have gone through anything like what these kids are battling. It really is unfathomable to most to even consider fighting such a horrendous disease. But these kids are fighters- superheroes really- and are able to defy many odds. These kids live and fight each day- something that is truly remarkable.

2. The kids impact your life.

Whether or not you personally interact with the kids at BuckeyeThon, your life will be impacted. Seeing first-hand the patients of such horrible diseases will stick with you forever. Your life isn’t impacted in a terribly depressing way though; these Miracle Kids will make you hopeful for a cure, and dedicated to being a part of finding one.

3. You’ll impact their life, too.

You’re there as support for these kids. This is a whirlwind for both parties, and certainly one that won’t be forgotten. Seeing how grateful the kids and their families were to witness all the support from Ohio State students was truly something special.

4. Every dancer is capable of participating for all 12 hours.

Think about it… these kids fight every day, every hour, every minute, and every second. There are no true breaks until the cancer or disease is gone. You can dance all 12 hours. And I bet you’re going to want to!

5. The power of family is really amazing.

The Miracle Kids are all backed and loved by their families. This love is so obvious and so incredibly strong. The impact that a family has on the spirit of a child is evident.

6. The student body cares…a lot.

This event is evidence that this university is full of students with very caring and loving hearts. The excitement and energy never died. Everyone continued to dance, to wear a smile, and to make an effort to tell the kids that we’re there for them. Having the opportunity to participate in such a tremendous event with my friends and peers was one that I’ll never forget.

7. The community cares, too!

The closing ceremonies and final reveal proved that the community cares a lot about the efforts taken against these horrible diseases. Many community members donate to the cause or come and watch parts of BuckeyeThon. It’s really a collective effort to find cures to these diseases.

8. So what if you’re sleep deprived! You’ll have a blast.

With one of the shifts being held overnight, you won’t be snoozing during your normal sleeping hours. But it’ll be better than catching up on your Zzzs. You’ll be participating with hundreds of your fellow Buckeyes! And you may even experience the sleep-deprived alertness, which can only improve your dance skills.

9. Your friends will keep you going.

Signing up and dancing with your friends makes the experience that much better! And when you are feeling the pain of shin splints or a cramping muscle, they’ll keep you moving! These memories are ones you’ll share forever.

10. There are thousands of reasons to keep hope alive.

Let’s be honest, the news is scary. News headlines make America, and the rest of the world, seem like humanity is crumbling. This dance marathon is proof that there is so much good in the world that is often overshadowed by depressing and dark stories. The patients, the students, and the thousands of dance marathons held all over are reason enough to have hope.

11. Crying in public is 100% acceptable.

The opening and closing ceremonies are emotional. There’s no denying that. Knowing more about the lives and histories of these Miracle Kids will make you tear up- and that is absolutely okay. No one will judge you, because it’s natural to be empathetic.

12. The money you raise makes a difference.

Not every student can go out and raise thousands of dollars for the cause. Even the smallest donations matter and will be used to benefit and support hundreds of Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients. Just by registering and receiving donations, you’re helping save lives!

13.  It’s absolutely worth it.

The experience is worth it. Period. I encourage every student to participate in the event. You’ll add to the fight against these diseases, you’ll make a difference in someone else’s life, and you’ll be forever changed- for the better.

FTK! And Go Bucks!