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Indiana Governor Proclaims Riley Dance Marathon Day, Celebrates $50 Million Raised

On Tuesday, September 25, the First Lady of Indiana, Janet Holcomb, read a declaration proclaiming the day to be Riley Dance Marathon Day. A celebration at the statehouse recognized the 115 high schools, colleges and universities that have collectively fundraised $50 million for Riley Hospital for Children since 1991.

The proclamation, signed by Governor Eric Holcomb, reads:

WHEREAS, Riley Dance Marathons have raised a total of $50 million for Riley Hospital for Children; and

WHEREAS, 115 Indiana high schools and colleges have participated in Riley Dance Marathons since 1991, each contributing to this achievement; and

WHEREAS, the Riley Dance Marathon program is the first Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals partner to achieve this milestone; and

WHEREAS, Riley Children’s Foundation and Riley Hospital for Children are grateful for every participant, donor, school leader and Riley family who have contributed to the Legacy of Hope for Riley Hospital for Children; 

WHEREAS, Riley Dance Marathons celebrate this achievement and look forward to continuing their Legacy of Hope for years to come; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Eric J. Holcomb, Governor of the State of Indiana, do hereby proclaim September 25, 2018 as RILEY DANCE MARATHON DAY in the state of Indiana, and invite all citizens to duly note this occasion. 

Indiana First Lady, Janet Holcomb, sharing the Governor’s Proclamation at the Indiana State Capital.

See the video above for the full ceremony from the state capital on Tuesday, September 25.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Riley Dance Marathons in the state of Indiana, Riley Hospital’s Wells Center for Pediatric Research now ranks among the nation’s top ten pediatric hospitals. Donations through dance marathons have helped to fund the implementation of the Precision Genomics program and the new CAR T-Cell therapy program to give Riley cancer patients with rare or aggressive cancers personalized treatment close to home. Dance marathon fundraising has also helped to employ 24 Child Life Specialists who provide services on every inpatient unit and continue to expand their services to more outpatient clinics.

“Riley is so dependent on the dance marathon program for so many things,” said Dr. Elaine Cox, Chief Medical Officer at Riley Children’s Health. “Our clinical programs, from infectious disease to palliative care to cancer, but also for some things you might not thing about when you think of medicine. Those are our family support programs–social work, child life, the school program–all of those things are so important to our children and their families as they traverse their journey. Those things are not reimbursable and without the Dance Marathon network, we could not supply those.”

The inaugural Riley Dance Marathon event was hosted at Indiana University in 1991 and was founded in honor of Ryan White who was diagnosed with AIDS at age 13 and passed away months before he was to attend Indiana University.  IUDM became the first Miracle Network Dance Marathon and Ryan’s legacy has inspired a movement that has grown not only to 115 colleges, universities, and high schools in the state of Indiana, but also over 400 campuses throughout North America.

“Last year alone, more than 17,000 students in Indiana schools participated in Dance Marathon to raise money,” said Kevin O’Keefe, President and CEO of Riley Children’s Foundation. “They are very impressive students. You meet them and you realize that these are the future leaders of our country. And our country is going to be in very good hands with these students.”

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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