During this time last year, Landis Green was buzzing with the words "FTK" and "Florida Statement." The spirit of the marathon encompassed the whole FSU campus as college students raised money to support children of the community with pediatric illnesses and injury. This year, however, Dance Marathon at FSU has adapted due to COVID-19. Now more than ever, it’s important for us to fight Against All Odds to support our Miracle Kids & local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, UF Health Shands.
Though we have encountered many obstacles this year, we chose to rise to the occasion and make our Florida Statement. On October 27th and 28th of 2020, we completed Dance Marathon at FSU's first-ever hybrid Florida Statement. Elements such as Power Hour with our Morale team, Operation Breakout, Comma Club Ceremony, and Circle of Hope were hosted virtually via Zoom. This encouraged over 1,500 students to rally for the cause like they have in previous years while still remaining safe at home. During Power Hour, participants and donors got to log onto Zoom and watch a live count of the donations received and a review of our Line Dance from DM at FSU 2020, with members of Morale encouraging participants to make over 13,000 dollars in just a single hour.
Throughout the first day, students from both our internal and external teams got to participate in Operation Breakout - a virtual task where individuals had to raise $25 in order to be able to escape the Zoom call. At the end of the first day, a virtual Circle of Hope was hosted through a live Zoom call with Miracle Child Nate Ferrell. He talked about his experience with Shands and the ways Dance Marathon has helped him battle Mitochondrial Disease. During the live stream, students who reached the Comma Club milestone were acknowledged as a part of the virtual Comma Club Ceremony.
While these students rallied over Zoom, they also got to celebrate in person as DM at FSU brought our famous gong to every Panhellenic chapter facility and to other campus organizations on Landis Green. The Gong rang consistently from 11 am till 4:30 pm, and members of different organizations came out to Hit The Gong and be recognized for their incredible fundraising. These special moments allowed internal and external participants to bring the buzz of being For The Kids back to campus and show that the heart of Dance Marathon is unstoppable.
On day two of Florida Statement, teams finished the event by fundraising as much as possible when they woke up until 11:12 am. A little past noon, Dance Marathon's Executive Board made their way to Doak Campbell Stadium to announce the total amount raised. The total reveal, which happened virtually via live stream on Instagram and Facebook, announced that in 26.2 hours, Dance Marathon at FSU had collectively raised $400,595 For the Kids!
By making our Florida Statement, every single person who donated and contributed something to the cause proved that even in the hardest of times, we will still come together, Against All Odds, to help the children at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Kids can’t wait for better days, and Florida Statement 2020 was just one example of the ways this organization will always work to provide a bright future For The Kids.