Jagathon breaks $500,000 for first time in event history

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Students celebrate breaking the half-million-dollar milestone in fundraising at the Jagathon dance marathon March 3-4. Photo courtesy of Akash Khanna

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jagathon, IUPUI's student-run dance marathon benefiting Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, raised a record $501,371.24 March 3-4 at the Campus Center.

It was the third consecutive year in which Jagathon set a new fundraising record. Its $351,430.22 last spring more than doubled its previous record from 2016.

Jagathon passed the $1 million mark for total fundraising in organization history last fall.

Of the half-million-plus dollars totaled this year, more than $57,000 was raised during the 15-hour dance marathon event. An additional $62,000 was collected during the Day of Miracles drive in January.

IUPUI students raise money and awareness for Riley Hospital throughout the year. They host fundraising events, solicit contributions online, collect in-kind donations, manage sponsorships and volunteer at community events for which they are "paid" with contributions to Jagathon.

Members of the Jagathon organization also mentor students at nine area high schools with their own dance marathons. Money from those events is included in IUPUI's final tally.

"I am deeply inspired by the passion that IUPUI has for philanthropy, particularly for Riley Hospital, since it is located on our very own campus," said Ali Emswiller, president of Jagathon and a senior studying sports management. "It was very touching to see the interactions between the students and the Riley kids at the marathon.

"Research is truly an investment in the future, and I am glad that IUPUI can support the longevity of pediatric health, as well as its advancement, through giving back to Riley Hospital."

The 2018 dance marathon also included its largest student registration in event history, with 1,356 participants.

"This means that more people are going on the journey with Jagathon to help provide the largest campus gift ever to Riley Hospital for Children," Emswiller said. "More people are engaging with our cause, and fundraising was the key contributor to our $150,000 increase from the 2017 marathon."

The largest student-run philanthropic organization on campus, Jagathon is part of the IUPUI Student Foundation. It encourages students to serve their community by gaining experience in planning and executing campuswide events.

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