Luther College DM Receives National Dance Marathon Merchandise Award

Luther College Dance Marathon was recently awarded the Merchandise Award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The Merchandise Award recognizes a dance marathon program that most successfully utilizes innovative merchandise for spreading awareness, recognition tools for their hospital or sponsors, fundraising, or incentivizing participants.

At the beginning of the year, Luther College Dance Marathon (LCDM) found themselves questioning whether their merchandise was appealing to a wide variety of students. They worried that each item released would not be well received by the larger Luther College population.

It wasn’t until they realized that, if the merchandise was truly created with the kids in mind, then the kids should be at the forefront of everything, including their merchandise. This led them to came up with a “For the Kids, By the Kids” merchandise strategy.

As the title of the new program suggests, LCDM started having their own miracle kids design the merchandise. It began with a baseball hat reading “For the Kids!” in Mateo, one of their Miracle kids’, first grade handwriting. By springtime, Mateo’s handwriting was being sold on a shirt. Every miracle family was thrilled by their additions to the For the Kids, By the Kids catalog. LCDM was generously given a self portrait drawn by one of their “Dancing in Our Hearts” Miracle kids, who had previously passed away, to be used on a shirt. It stretched even further when they had another one of their miracle kids help design all of the graphics for their fundraising push day.

LCDM was able to double their merchandise fundraising from the previous year. Orders for the shirt were coming in from all around the world. They pushed the creative landscape for merchandise that went far beyond commonly used dance marathon quotes or slogans.

For the Kids, By the Kids finished out the year with the release of their dancer t-shirt. The dancer t-shirt was worn by everyone participating in LCDM. Since it was LCDM’s 5th year, the design was a large 5 made up of six puzzle pieces. Each of the six sections were carefully designed by a miracle family. Together the pieces created a visual representation of LCDM’s mission, to do all they could for their miracle kids and families.


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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