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Dance Marathon Raises $35,000 for Pediatric AIDS

Students keep it moving for 18 hours for charity

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Photo by Matt Lasek (SHA'09)

Dancing the night away had a whole different meaning at BU this weekend. Dancers, “moralers,” and their supporters spent up to 18 consecutive hours on their feet, raising money to fight pediatric AIDS. The 2008 Boston University Dance Marathon was held at Sargent Gym from 3 p.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday, raising $35,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and the nonprofit Camp Heartland.

Dance Marathon began in 2003 as a collaboration among the Inter Fraternity-Sorority Council and Pan-Hellenic Council, the Boston University Student Union, Students for Camp Heartland, and BUnited. The first year, 100 dancers, moralers — those who encourage and help the dancers keep their energy up throughout the marathon — volunteers, and visitors raised $30,000. Today the marathon is the biggest annual fundraiser on campus, bringing in more than $250,000 to date for the foundation and camp.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation reaches more than a million women each year with services at more than 750 sites in 20 countries aimed at the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The foundation’s aggressive advocacy and research initiatives are credited with decreasing the mother-to-child transmission rate of HIV in the United States to less than 2 percent.

Camp Heartland is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth, and families facing HIV/AIDS, poverty, grief, and other significant life challenges. Each year, more than 100 children from around the country, from all backgrounds, are able to go to camp for a week for free and escape the stigma accompanying the disease and the hardships of life at home.

For more information about the Dance Marathon, visit its Web site.

Jessica Ullian can be reached at jullian@bu.edu.

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