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Ohio State’s BuckeyeThon Receives National Dance Marathon Community Engagement Award

BuckeyeThon at The Ohio State University was recently awarded the Community Engagement award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The Community Engagement Award recognizes the Dance Marathon organization that executed a successful initiative, event, or campaign to reach a new demographic in the campus or local community over the past year.

BuckeyeThon realized they needed to increase diversity on all levels of involvement within their program in order to truly engage the entire campus community. To help with this, BuckeyeThon Leadership Team met with the administration of the Multicultural Center (MCC) at Ohio State to learn more about how they could reach students they had not engaged with in previous years.

They began reaching out to different student organizations that were housed under the MCC and many of the organizations began creating teams for the Dance Marathon. Students created an International Student Team, which team made international students feel more comfortable joining a team that reflected their experience, rather than signing up for a random team. The team provided international students with a community they could rely on.

Kayla Vorhees, BuckeyeThon Director of Community Engagement, said, “in order to fully engage our community to be For The Kids, it was necessary for us to actively work towards valuing and integrating diversity into our everyday work.”

BuckeyeThon also recognized the need to ensure that their General Body, the 150 member team that help plan and implement events and initiatives, needed to also be representative of the diversity of their campus. They made efforts to reach out to new parts of campus that they had not targeted before in order to recruit members and bring their unique perspectives into their organization.

While BuckeyeThon has made great steps toward community engagement and diversity over the past year, they recognize that they still have a tremendous amount of work to do in order to engage dedicated and passionate team members from all walks of life. By investing in and valuing diversity, BuckeyeThon will continue to bring even more people together, all For The Kids.

BuckeyeThon members accept the Community Engagement Award at #DMLC2019 on July 20.


Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 1991, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $250 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon:

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