Twenty Graduating College Seniors Receive 2018 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award

Miracle Network Dance Marathon has named 20 graduating college student leaders as recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award. The honorees are being recognized for making an exceptional impact within their Dance Marathon program, on their individual campus and for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

The collective efforts of Miracle Network Dance Marathon events have raised nearly $220 million since 1991 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness for 170 pediatric hospitals across North America. Each year, hundreds of thousands of students participate in Dance Marathon at 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, contributing to a movement that continues to grow year after year.

The 2018 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award recipients are:

As the first Outreach Chair for Dance Marathon at FSU, Kat worked throughout the past year to engage alumni in fundraising and events and created a brand new program, called InspiratioNOLE Leaders, to allow freshmen to find their place in the organization. Learn more about Kat here.

Serving as president of University of Nebraska Dance Marathon allowed Janae the opportunity to not only give back to her local children’s hospital, but also learn valuable communication and collaboration skills that she will carry with her into her career. Learn more about Janae here.

Jason has been involved in TribeTHON at the College of William & Mary since its inaugural year in 2015 and served as Executive Director this past year, where he worked to challenge the status quo and start new traditions to push TribeTHON toward its highest fundraising year. Learn more about Jason here.

Alicia served as the Vice President of Partnerships for the University of South Carolina Dance Marathon, helping her program to grow their fundraising by 45% and raise over $1 million during the 2017-2018 year. Learn more about Alicia here.

Through her involvement in Seattle University Dance Marathon, Desi worked to bring her community together, help her peers develop a life-long passion for philanthropy, and make a difference for the kids at her local children’s hospital. Learn more about Desi here.

Inspired by her grandmother and a passion for helping kids get out of the hospital to make childhood memories, Hailey led RebelTHON at the University of Mississippi toward a record-breaking fundraising year. Learn more about Hailey here.

During Maddie’s four years involved with UGA Miracle, she saw the organization collectively raise over $4 million for her local children’s hospital. While she personally fundraised over $30,000, she also helped to inspire thousands of University of Georgia students to find a way to make a difference for the kids. Learn more about Maddie here.

Connor is most proud of how the entire Hope College campus community rallied around their cause and the kids from their local children’s hospital and surpassed their fundraising goal of $310,000 in 2018. Learn more about Connor here.

Throughout his five years of involvement with Purdue University Dance Marathon, Nate has served the organization in five different positions and has worked to make Dance Marathon an inclusive organization that allows anyone to get something out of their involvement. Learn more about Nate here.

During her year as Executive Director for Aggie Miracle, Maci made an effort to be encouraging of her team and lead by example, helping anyone on campus find out how they can make an impact on their local children’s hospital, whether it was tabling on campus or selling corn dogs at 2:00am. Learn more about Maci here.

In her role as Fiscal Director for Terp Thon at the University of Maryland, she worked to show the campus why they fundraise and how each donor and fundraiser’s efforts could be the reason that a child’s life is saved. Learn more about Allison here.

Knowing what it felt like to spend time in a hospital as a child after she was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, Laurie Beth joined Dance Marathon to help ensure that the experiences of the children and families treated at her local CMN Hospital were welcoming and comfortable. Learn more about Laurie Beth here.

Alex served as the Executive Director for University of Iowa Dance Marathon, leading them toward becoming only the second program in Miracle Network Dance Marathon history to raise over $3 million in a single year and helped students to see how their fundraising was making a tangible impact on their children’s hospital. Learn more about Alex here.

Jess served in four leadership positions during her involvement with LoboTHON, which taught her more than any other organization about student leadership, the power of unity, and her ability to overcome adversity–skills that will certainly help her as she attends Physical Therapy school and hopes to become a pediatric physical therapist. Learn more about Jess here.

Originally inspired by her brother Jack’s battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Morgan got involved with Dance Marathon as a way to give back. But now, she also credits BSUDM for giving her incredible experiences, friendships and memories. Learn more about Morgan here.

Vanitha didn’t want to wait until she became a pediatric oncologist to start making a difference, so she got involved with SpartanTHON at Case Western Reserve University and realized the impact that she could make. Her leadership helped them fundraise over $100,000 for the first time in their organization’s history. Learn more about Vanitha here.

Austin and a few of his peers had an idea to bring the Miracle Network Dance Marathon movement to the University of Rhode Island’s campus as a way to bring the community together. They had no idea that their efforts would lead to crushing the MNDM first-year fundraising record and revealing a fundraising total of over $147,000 at the end of their event. Learn more about Austin here.

When given the opportunity to start a Dance Marathon at Cal Poly, Haley didn’t think twice about it and jumped right into action, bringing students from across campus together and creating a tradition that will inspire their campus and support their local community for years to come. Learn more about Haley here.

Inspired by the quote “People don’t remember what you say to them; they remember how you make them feel,” Analiese and her team worked to help her campus and community feel how getting involved in Dance Marathon at the University of Florida can make a huge impact on the patients treated at the children’s hospital right down the street from them. Learn more about Analiese here.

Honor helped students to see that the children treated at their local hospital were the future generation of leaders, and possibly even future Stetson students, inspiring a movement on campus community in Hatterthon’s first two years. Learn more about Honor here.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award Winners!


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 $220 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon:

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