Hopes were set high for LoboTHON in 2020, but with the coronavirus pandemic causing cancellations and closures across campus, this year's Dance Marathon later has also been canceled. 

With the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19, it was estimated over 100,000 people have been affected around the world. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic on March 11. 

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham banned events exceeding 100 persons on March 12 and a declared state of emergency the previous day. The University of New Mexico followed suit and canceled any event exceeding 50 persons. This has resulted in the cancelation of many events, including sporting games, concerts, festivals, and movies.

“With heavy hearts and disappointment, UNM Administration, the CDC, and the UNM’s Children Hospital will be postponing the LoboTHON, that was scheduled for March 28th,” reported by the LoboTHON Executive Board. The board is still unsure of when the event will be moved to, but the main focus and mission is to adjust for the Miracle Children and all the children that enter UNM Children’s Hospital.

LoboTHON Committee board member Noah Lucero said he wishes to continue to guide children at UNM Hospital first through this rough patch. 

“Whenever we are able to sort out a date and details for our postponed dance marathon, it will be bigger and better than ever,” Lucero said.

With all the time  worked into the Dance Marathon event over the past year, the Executive Board asks, “to take this time make a difference in the lives of these children, and until no child has to walk into a hospital, we will continue to do what we can for the children and families who deserve it most.”

Last year, the fundraising team broke their $100,000 goal and raised $103,408.42. With this year’s goal set at $111,000, the Executive Board said they still wish to continue and encourage everyone to still donate. 

UNM junior Nainika Ravi, the marathon events committee chair, said LoboTHON won’t reveal if they reached 2020’s goal until Dance Marathon.  

“We can’t see the Dance Marathon through with the current committee right now, my guess the next time we will experience Dance Marathon is next year,” Ravi said. 

All donations will still be donated to the program known as Child Life. 

Child Life Program is the largest of its kind according to the Health Science Center website. They focus on the emotional needs of patients and parents.  

At the recent official statement released March 13th, the Executive Board said they are continuing to strive to reach their goal. They ask anyone who would be interested in helping out to set up a Facebook fundraiser and follow the instructions in the LoboTHON blog post. In honor of UNM Children’s Hospital being .8 miles from campus, they encourage everyone to donate $8 to help fundraise under LoboTHON.  

Cameron Ward is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @xx_cameo_xx