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Dance Marathon fundraising will continue after decision not to hold event

Northwestern student efforts will continue over the weekend to support beneficiaries

In an effort to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), Northwestern leadership has decided not to hold the 30-hour Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) that was to be held under a tent on the Evanston campus this weekend.

University leadership decided not to hold the annual event in part because the physically demanding dance, in which students are in close proximity for a prolonged period of time, could put students at greater risk for illness. The decision was made with by senior administrators in consultation with health professionals and based on national recommendations.

Dance Marathon, one of the largest student-run fundraisers in the country, has raised more than $20 million for 36 different charitable organizations since its inception in 1975. 

In a statement, members of the Northwestern University Dance Marathon Executive Board said they will continue their fundraising efforts despite the decision not to hold the event this weekend.

“We will continue to fundraise for two amazing beneficiaries, Children’s Home & Aid and the Evanston Community Foundation,” the students said. “We can still give our all to ensure that our hard work this year culminates in the greatest impact possible. We will continue to spread love, compassion and community, and most importantly, continue working towards helping as many people as possible find home.” 

Donations for this year’s event can still be made through the weekend online at

For progress updates, follow NUDM on Facebook at @NUDanceMarathon.

About Children’s Home and Aid

One of the leading child and family service agencies in Illinois, Children’s Home & Aid’s highly trained staff each year provide expression therapy, counseling and mentoring programs for more than 1,500 children in foster care. The staff also supports children by connecting them to the proper family placement, as well as restoring their hope and emotional stability. Ultimately, however, Children’s Home & Aid’s mission is to increase the rate of successful home placements for youth in foster care across Illinois, and the United States at large, in order to decrease the number of homeless youth. 

About Evanston Community Foundation

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) is NUDM’s secondary beneficiary for the 23rd consecutive year. ECF is an independent public charity that works to strengthen Evanston and its surrounding areas. Since its founding in 1986, ECF has awarded numerous grants and endowment funds to deserving individuals, families and organizations with the goal of helping Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive and just community.