Skip to main content

Twenty Graduating Seniors Receive 2019 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award

Miracle Network Dance Marathon has named 20 graduating college student leaders as recipients of the 2019 Miracle Network Dance Marathon 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 more than $250 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 2019 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award recipients are:

Nick’s involvement in Wartburg College Dance Marathon has inspired him to become a become a physician-scientist with hopes to advance medicine and scientific knowledge to find better cures and treatments “For The Kids.” Learn more about Nick here.

As the External Overall Chair for Dakotathon at the University of South Dakota, Libby made their participants a priority, helping them find their connection to the cause and thanking them for their fundraising efforts, resulting in their organization raising over $200,000 in 2019. Learn more about Libby here.

After spending years as a patient in her local CMN Hospital, Heather was inspired to start a new Dance Marathon organization at the University of North Georgia, leading them to raise over $95,000 in their first two years. Learn more about Heather here.

Known around campus as the “IlliniThon guy,” Luke worked throughout his four years of involvement at the University of Illinois to help IlliniThon grow from a few students yelling “For The Kids” on the quad into the largest student run organization and the largest philanthropy on campus. Learn more about Luke here.

Jennifer has served as the first president for the new Dance Marathon at Northeastern University, helping the organization become established on campus and built a strong foundation for their inaugural event coming up in the fall 2019 semester. Learn more about Jennifer here.

As Executive Director for TitanThon at Illinois Wesleyan University, Emma worked to build a culture on Illinois Wesleyan’s campus that saw Dance Marathon as an important campus event and led her peers to inspire more participants and more than double their fundraising in just two years. Learn more about Emma here.

As the team captain for his fraternity’s team for Dance Marathon at FSU, Kevin was able to increase his chapter’s participation by 13 members and fundraising efforts by $4,000. But the fact that he was also able to inspire a whole new group of individuals to love and support a cause as much as he did meant so much more. Learn more about Kevin here.

Madison is proud of the relationships that her involvement in Dance Marathon at the University of Florida has provided her, including the best friends, mentors who she looks up to, daily interactions with thousands of the most passionate students, and inspirational relationships with their Miracle Families. Learn more about Madison here.

Being involved in Jagathon at IUPUI not only taught Akash important skills like delegation, communication, and commitment, he also was inspired to change his major and career path after he discovered his passion for marketing. Learn more about Akash here.

Amber served as the first-ever Stewardship Executive for Purdue University Dance Marathon and she took advantage of the opportunity to lay the ground work that will greatly benefit partner, participant, and donor relationships in the future. Learn more about Amber here.

Alysa has been able to see the University of Findlay Miracle Network Dance Marathon program’s fundraising in action at her local hospital, helping to partially fund the Autism Center, purchase NICView Cameras and bottle warmers for the NICU, and contributing toward a new NICU transporter for their LifeFlight. Learn more about Alysa here.

As the Finance Manager for Knight-Thon at the University of Central Florida, Tarina helped lead the organization through their Charge on Challenge campaign, during with they challenge participants to raise $100 and spread awareness for the cause during the 24-hour campaign. By pushing boundaries and engaging the campus in new, exciting ways they were able to collectively raise $169,216.68. Learn more about Tarina here.

Before he got involved in Kent State University Flashathon, Case hadn’t found anything to care about beyond his own bubble. But Dance Marathon opened his eyes to the battles that children and families across North America fight day after day, inspiring to be an advocate for local children’s hospitals. Learn more about Case here.

Kiara’s Dance Marathon at San Diego State University experience was highlighted when she got to watch a Miracle kid take his final chemotherapy treatment on stage at their 2019 Dance Marathon event, witnessing first-hand how donations affect kids at her local hospital. Learn more about Kiara here.

Jenna wrote her initial ideas for starting Guinathon at Youngstown State University down on an envelope. With time and determination, the ideas on that envelope turned into a 20+ member executive board, 200+ dancers at their main event, and over $120,000 raised in the past few years. Learn more about Jenna here.

As Director of Morale for UNI Dance Marathon, Dani encouraged people to apply for more, to do more, to be more all for the kids—helping them find their “lightbulb moment” when they understand the impact they are making on the cause. Learn more about Dani here.

As a freshman, Patrick walked into his first dance marathon as a performer in an acapella group, with no idea what Dance Marathon was or what it even was about. However, it was a defining moment in his college career, helping him define his identity at the College of Charleston and explore his passions and aspirations. Learn more about Patrick here.

Without Soonerthon at the University of Oklahoma, Jack might not have gotten the opportunity to lose what he considers to be the greatest skee-ball showdown in recent times against Jeremiah, a patient from their local CMN Hospital that was provided with the necessary resources and personnel for their treatment thanks to Dance Marathon fundraising. Learn more about Jack here.

After she was feeling homesick during first year of college and was struggling to find her “place” on campus, Rebecca got involved with the University of Oregon Dance Marathon and immediately started to feel that sense of belonging. Learn more about Rebecca here.

Morgan participated in Clemson Miracle in memory of her sister, Jenna Witherspoon, after she lost her battle with Ependymoma in 2006. During her sister’s treatment, Morgan and her family were in and out of the hospital, witnessing first-hand how funds from CMN Hospitals provide things to make their time at the hospital less scary, like Child Life, playrooms, and arts and crafts. Learn more about Morgan here.


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:

Facebook – Instagram – Website – Blog – YouTube

We have updated our Privacy Policy. To view our updated policy, click here.