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KNOXVILLE – University of Tennessee Dance Marathon organizers will use a new technology as part of their annual fundraising efforts for East Tennessee Children-s Hospital. An online auction Jan. 23-27 will feature items such as guest coaching spots and lunches with university officials.

This year-s event will be held Feb. 3-4 in Stokely Athletic Center. Dance Marathon is UT-s largest student-run philanthropy. Money from the event, and this year-s auction, go directly to the ETCH hematology and oncology clinic. In its 11-year history, Dance Marathon has raised more than $600,000.

Eleven items will be auctioned, including two Guest Coach with Coach Summitt spots for the Lady Vols game against the University of Florida Feb. 26; box seat tickets for the Lady Vols game against Auburn Feb. 23; five spots for lunch with UT President John Petersen; a field pass for a 2006 UT home football game; a pass for a Neyland Stadium visit with the football team on the Friday before a 2006 home game; and lunch with UT Men-s Basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

Yourhub.com, the Knoxville News Sentinel-s online network of neighborhood Web sites will host the auction. Bids will be accepted by Dance Marathon at utdmauction@hotmail.com during posted times. The highest bids of each day will be posted at 5 p.m. on Yourhub.com through the UT neighborhood link and www.dancemarathonatut.com. Auction winners will be notified Jan. 28, and the items will be presented during the Dance Marathon event.

Students also will host Cakes for Kids, 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Volunteers will prepare a pancake dinner at the International House on UT-s campus. Tickets for the event are $5, in advance at the Student Activities office or at the door. All proceeds will be included in the donation to ETCH.

Each year, more than 600 UT students volunteer as dancers to stay awake for 24 hours, symbolizing the difficulty young cancer patients experience with chemotherapy treatments and constant medical monitoring. Student volunteers coordinate all activities during the event, including band performances, group games and ETCH patient visits.

For more information about Dance Marathon, visit the Student Activities office on the third floor of the University Center or online at www.dancemarathonatut.com.



Stephanie Blaylock, (423) 322-6656 or sblaylock@utk.edu
Lyndsey Hulen, (865) 974-5455 or lhulen@utk.edu