BronchoThon Raises More than $140,000
BronchoThon at the University of Central Oklahoma raised $140,032.19 for the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital throughout multiple campaigns over the academic year. The final total was revealed at the organization’s third annual Dance Marathon Finale on April 13.
The finale event ran eight hours, from 2-10 p.m. at Hamilton Field House, which featured multiple donation initiatives, dancing and a Miracle Children talent show.
BronchoThon is a year-long philanthropy that starts over the day after the finale night, which for BronchoThon 2020 starts on April 15. The organization raises awareness and financial support for the Oklahoma CHF by hosting several events throughout the year, restaurant give back nights and through peer to peer fundraising.
“Our main mission is to raise funds and awareness for our local children’s hospital that serves children in all 77 counties of Oklahoma,” said Isabella Beevers, executive director and president of BronchoThon.
Beevers said other organizations on campus also have the opportunity to get involved and fundraise for BronchoThon by signing up and having teams participate. Some of these organizations include Greek organizations, Housing and Dining, President’s Leadership Club, Leaders of Tomorrow, Public Relations Student Society of America and E-Sports, among others.
In 2016, BronchoThon became UCO’s largest student-led fundraiser. Last year, the organization raised $97,504.61, and including the amount this year, the total funds raised through BronchoThon is $305,941.80.
“[BronchoThon] being throughout the year really gives students the opportunity to get involved at whatever stage they are at in their college career,” said Riley McKinney, vice president of BronchoThon. “There also are so many opportunities to meet the families, like when BronchoThon hosts events the kids can come, as well as go to the hospital and tour the facility to kind of see what you are impacting.”
According to BronchoThon’s webpage, part of the reason BronchoThon was created is that the Oklahoma CHF is the only non-profit organization in Oklahoma whose sole focus is the advancement of pediatric research and educational programs to improve the health of children.
“We donate directly to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation,” Beevers said. “Our hospital is a heavy research hospital, so typically, donated funds are used to help fund medical research and to bring in world-renowned doctors to our local children’s hospital.”
Through CHF, all funds raised in Oklahoma stay in Oklahoma, so the families who are in need of specialized care do not need to leave the state. CHF also serves 77 counties, including out-of-state patients, and they do not turn away any child in need of care regardless of ability to pay.
The eight-hour dance marathon had a theme for every hour, which was broken up into segments for the participants. Themes included “Luau,” “Yeehaw,” “Unstoppable” and a rave, all of which would ultimately lead up to the reveal of the total funds raised over the year.
“Dance Marathons are starting to show up on more campuses across the nation, and all of these dance marathons are a part of the Children’s Miracle Network, which is a big umbrella with majority of the local children’s hospitals across the country under it,” Beevers said.
At the beginning of the finale night, Beevers said that the reason for standing and dancing for eight hours was to represent a portion of the 12-hour shift that a nurse typically works.
“We dance and we stand for 8 hours, but we are also creating miracles so it’s so much more than dancing,” Beevers said. “That’s really important to remember while you guys are here, because you guys are going to get tired, and you’re going to want to quit, but just remember those nurses who are on their feet for 12 hours, working hard to make sure that those kids are getting the treatment that they need.”
There were also eight families present who have been impacted from the CMN Hospital, and each family had time to give a speech and share their experiences with CMN and the benefits of receiving care directly in the state.
Multiple tables were set up around the event with different options to donate throughout the evening, such as a dare table and merchandise table. An incentive table had varied incentives based on certain donation amounts.
Applications for the executive team in BronchoThon closed Monday; however, for students who want to get involved in next year’s BronchoThon team, applications are open on OrgSync for leadership positions and will close on Friday.