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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dance to fund Children’s Hospital

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By William Aranda / New Mexico Daily Lobo

LoboTHON committee member Siobhan Buckley, right, discusses the LoboTHON Dance Marathon, while Executive Director Kyle Stepp and External Director Jenna Hagengruber listen, after a short preview in the UNM Student Union Building on Tuesday afternoon. The LoboTHON Dance Marathon will take place at the UNM Johnson Recreational Center on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

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UNM students on Saturday will party for 13.1 hours straight to benefit sick kids.

LoboTHON will host the University’s first ever LoboTHON Dance Marathon event on Saturday in the Johnson Recreational Center, with the goal of raising $14,000 for UNM Children’s Hospital.

Jenna Hagengruber, an English and philosophy major, is the organization’s external director. She said that although $14,000 would immensely help the hospital, it is not the final financial goal of the Dance Marathon, and any level of participation will go towards a great cause.

“It’s our first year,” Hagengruber said, “We don’t know if there are going to be two people there or 400 people there, but our committee is so strong and so passionate about it that we know that regardless of whether we raise $50 or $50,000, it is for a good reason. And it is only going to get better from there.”

LoboTHON is a student group on campus that was founded in 2013 by UNM organizational communication and management major Kyle Stepp.

Stepp said the choice to begin the annual event and to have UNM Children’s Hospital as the recipient of funds was partly due to the significance of the hospital to the University and to the state as a whole.

“Why we started this is because we are one campus and one cause,” Stepp said. “There are over 65,000 kids being treated there every year. It is the only level-one trauma center in the state of New Mexico, the only burn center in the state of New Mexico, and it’s the referral hospital for the whole of New Mexico.”

Stepp said the matter of child health is not a distant one that has nothing to do with college students, but one which the University community should all take personally and participate in.

“We all know someone that is under the age of 18,” Stepp said. “If anything major happened to them, whether that be the flu or cancer, UNM Children’s Hospital will treat them no matter what. This is one campus. We’re able to join around one cause and help those 65,000 kids a year by partying with a purpose.”

Siobhan Buckley, a biology and chemistry major and a LoboTHON committee member, said students should not doubt whether the event is for them or not. She said the Dance Marathon’s two main purposes are to help the kids and to just have fun.

Buckley said good dancing is not required at all, and in the event, there will be many other activities going on.

“It’s all for the kids,” Buckley said, “The fact that you are there and that you are trying is what matters.”

LoboTHON Dance Marathon

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Johnson Center

For more information about the event, visit lobothon.com or email Kyle Stepp at kstepp@unm.edu