The weekend of February 17-18, thousands of UConn students came together at the culmination of a year-long fundraising drive to celebrate Connecticut Children’s patients while dancing for 18 hours straight. At the weekend’s end, the UConn students announced they had raised more than $1,021,000 during their annual HuskyTHON Miracle Network Dance Marathon. AMAZING!!!!!
As the Associate Vice President for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation, part of my job has been to work with these wonderful students over the past year to support them as they raised funds across Connecticut and beyond. The UConn students spent countless hours canning (collecting coins) outside hundreds of local businesses throughout the year. They hosted a ZumbaTHON, bake sales, events at restaurants, and all kinds of other fundraising efforts in support of HuskyTHON throughout the past year.
Dancing alongside a few thousand UConn students were nearly 50 Connecticut Children’s patients, their siblings, and their parents, who attended HuskyTHON weekend and had the times of their lives. Each patient was matched with a team of students and were treated like royalty throughout the weekend. The smiles on their faces were worth more than the dollars raised during the event.
This extraordinary effort is led by a team of 28 UConn students that form the HuskyTHON Management Team, and it is absolutely a privilege to work with all of these students alongside a wonderful team of advisors. To say it is a privilege is not a line or hyperbole in any way. These students worked tirelessly for nearly an entire year to ensure HuskyTHON’s success. Not once during this past year did they ask what was in it for them; rather they continually asked, “What more can we be doing For The Kids?”
Personally, I get to be a part of this effort from start to finish. I get to see everything that goes into it. I am present at the start of the 18-hour HuskyTHON event when the patient families are introduced on stage. I also get to be there at the end when the Management Team is on stage announcing the final total – a moment that gets me choked up every year. I am moved not by the final fundraising total, but rather seeing the overwhelming pride and joy on the faces of the UConn students when they get to announce their fundraising success – a final gift of giving our patient families the HuskyTHON they deserve.
To all of the UConn students who participated, thank you from the bottom of my heart and the hearts of all of the patients and staff here at Connecticut Children’s. Thank you all for being #allinforthemillion and more importantly #allinforthekids.