UCO Hosts Second Annual BronchoThon

UCO Hosts Second Annual BronchoThon

UCO students celebrate raising over $60,000 at the first annual BronchoThon in 2017. The second BronchoThon takes place this Saturday. (Provided/BroncoThon Twitter)

On Saturday, April 14, University of Central Oklahoma is hosting the second annual BronchoThon dance marathon to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“BronchoThon is a yearlong philanthropic movement which unites the Broncho community in raising awareness and financial support for the Children’s Hospital Foundation,” said Charles Spells, executive director of BronchoThon. “Our finale event is a celebration of the yearlong effort our campus has made and the lives of our miracle children.”

The eight hour dance marathon is April 14 in Hamilton Field House from 2-10 p.m., with each hour broken down into segments with different types of dances and themed music.

An opening ceremony serves as the event kickoff, followed by the themed hours until the closing ceremony and fundraising total at 9:30 p.m.  The hourly dance themes include Disney, school spirit, love, wild kingdom, power hour and rave.

Other activities will also take place during the event.

“During the event we have different activities to do, from an art auction to Zumba, and you can dare your friends to do things too,” said Thomas Patterson, vice president of fundraising for BronchoThon.

Miracle families from the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Oklahoma City will be in attendance to speak at the start of each hour and share their stories and miracles.

All funding goes to the local children’s hospital and directly helps patients, including the miracle families present.

“A miracle family is someone who has benefited directly from the funds raised by a dance marathon,” Spells said. “Through the efforts of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and programs like BronchoThon, they were able to receive the care and treatment they needed right here in their home state.”

Spells said any miracle family can participate in the dance marathon and any other events throughout the year.  There are currently 16 miracle families involved with BronchoThon.

All of the money donated through the year stays local and online donations go directly to the Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Donations help the foundation bring in new doctors and support research for the hospital.

Student and Greek organizations that register as a team compete for the Miracle Cup.

“Any organization can compete for [the Cup] and there are different ways to earn points, from fundraising to hosting an event,” Patterson said.

Other donation events through the year add to the grand total revealed at the closing ceremony. Some of the events include restaurant nights, donation cans at sporting events and 14K In a Day.

On March 14, BronchoThon’s 14K In a Day events raised $20,846.19 through small events and donation periods throughout the day. The day consisted of donation blitzes, video game tournaments, breakfast and lunch donations, karaoke, a dare table and an end of the day rave.

“I got involved with BronchoThon because I believe that every child should be able to receive the care they need, regardless of their family’s ability to pay,” Spells said. “Our local hospital is making miracles in so many ways and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Spells’ personal experience stems from a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Texas, where he was treated as a child.  Although he wasn’t a miracle child, Spells believes the care he received was a miracle and wants to help others get the same care.

Children’s Hospital Foundation is the only non-profit organization in Oklahoma focusing solely on the advancement of pediatric research and education programs to improve children’s health, according to the BronchoThon OrgSync page.

Students can get involved with BronchoThon by registering to be a dancer for $25, creating a fundraising portal or making a donation.

Participants at the event can receive STLR credit in the Health and Wellness, and Service Learning and Civic Engagement tenants.

While BronchoThon 2018 is coming to a close, applications for next year’s board are open.  The executive council, leadership team and big committee applications are on the BronchoThon OrgSync page and close April 16.

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