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Palm Beach Central High School Receives National Best High School Dance Marathon Award

Palm Beach Central High School Dance Marathon (DM at PBC), in partnership with Dance Marathon at the University of Florida (DM at UF), was recently recognized as the Best High School New Dance Marathon at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The Best High School Dance Marathon Award recognizes a Miracle Network Dance Marathon organization that hosted a Dance Marathon event in the 2018-2019 academic year and is chosen based on a combination of fundraising success, year-round programming, and Dance Marathon event execution. This year is the first year that this award has been presented.

DM at PBC is on the eighth year as a mini-marathon program with DM at UF. Their organization continues to break records, growing year after year in both the number of participants and fundraising.

Dance Marathon at the University of Florida’s Marathon Relations team works with 24 different mini-marathon programs across the state,” Connor Bennett, DM at UF Overall Director, wrote in the award nomination. “[DM at PBC] continuously impresses and surprises us with what high schoolers are capable of accomplishing when they come together for one cause.”

This year, DM at PBC won Best Social Media Presence for DM at UF Mini-Marathon Awards out of 24 mini-marathon programs. Their organization uses Instagram to engage students by letting them know what is going on with DM events and DM at UF events. They also engage students by selling merchandise.

PBC had over 350 participants register and attend their big event. The Dance Marathon is run through Palm Beach Central High School’s National Honor Society and engages other organizations throughout the school. To engage PBC students and spread awareness, the DM team hosted flash mobs and FTK Friday’s at lunch, spoke at pep rallies, utilized social media, and produced a lip-dub video. Fundraising reaches beyond the students–teachers at PBC host class fundraising competitions, create their own fundraising pages, and attend the big event.

Each year, Palm Beach Central raises awareness through events and partnerships in the community. In October 2018, PBC participated in the Village of Wellington’s Fall Festival where the high school students had a booth with games and candy for local children and vendors to enjoy. This brought awareness for the cause to a variety of new audiences. They also have hosted hospitality and spirit nights at various restaurants and businesses as fundraisers. DM at PBC has also begun engaging middle schools in Dance Marathon by allowing them to have some involvement in the high school’s events. This upcoming year, they are planning to host micro-marathon programs with 4 different schools, two middle schools and two elementary schools.

To conclude their year, students plan out the entire 8-hour Dance Marathon event, including activities, catering, the Morale line dance, multiple fundraising hours, a hospital band ceremony, and Miracle Family stories. The event is held in the cafeteria and is decorated from wall to wall, top to bottom. There is a wall completely dedicated to their sponsors, one dedicated to the Miracle Families, one dedicated to fundraising and dancers in comma club and a motivational poster wall.

DM at PBC set out a goal of $80,000 and exceeded that goal, raising $93,927.57 in 2019.  To reach this goal PBC DM engaged in DM at UF’s fundraising initiatives, such as Transform Today, Home for the Holidays, Challenge 25, canning, and matching hours. They also created their own innovative fundraising push called Miracle Minute, a 60-second challenge for students to bring in cash and raise as much money as possible in 60-seconds. The students raised an impressive $2,417.86 from the Miracle Minute Challenge this past year.

DM at UF students accept the Best High School Dance Marathon Award on behalf of DM at PBC at DMLC 2019.

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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