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KNOXVILLE –- Students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are lacing up their dancing shoes this weekend to raise money for children with cancer and other blood-related diseases.

UT’s Dance Marathon lasts from 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, to 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. Check-in for participants starts at 6 p.m. in the Health and Physical Education Building (HPER). The event’s early activities, a kickoff and the Kid’s Carnival, last from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in HPER. Participants will then move to the Tennessee Recreational Center for Students (TRECS) for the remainder of the Dance Marathon.

The event is the culmination of a year of fundraising for the hematology and oncology clinic at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. This year’s theme is “Lights, Camera, Dance.”

Dance Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy on campus, has been held every year since 1995 and to date has raised more than $900,000. Last year alone more than 600 UT students participated to raise more than $81,000.

UT is one of 77 colleges and universities around the country participating in the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon program. Each school chooses an area hospital to benefit.

Dance Marathon is not a dance-a-thon in which students have to keep dancing all night long. Each participant raises money before the event. This year’s event features a wide variety of entertainment including live music and performances. Bands include Love, Peace, and Happiness; Kiss Your Ghost; Evan Stone; and Second String. Ventriloquist Gabriel Holmes, local improv group Einstein Simplified and magician Matt Cummings will perform, as well as Debka and the Oasis Dancers, and local step team The Esquires.

For more information about donating to Dance Marathon, contact the Office of Student Activities at (865) 974-5455 or go to


Rebekah Winkler, UT media relations, (865) 974-8304,

Kerri Lovegrove, Dance Marathon adviser, (865) 974-5455,