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Let’s dance! Students dance non-stop for 30 hours to help babies get home from the hospital

49th Northwestern University Dance Marathon to benefit Little Heroes League and Evanston Community Foundation

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM), one of the largest student-run philanthropic efforts in the United States, is back under the tent starting at 7 p.m., Friday, March 3, and continuing until 1 a.m., Sunday, March 5. 

The marathon is the culmination of a yearlong fundraising effort to support Little Heroes League, a Chicago area non-profit organization that helps children with medical complexities and their families receive care coordination as they depart the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and continue their recovery at home. The NUDM grant will directly go towards funding an additional care coordinator for Little Heroes League, who will be able to serve up to 30 new families per year.

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) serves as the secondary beneficiary for the 26th consecutive year. ECF invests in the community through grant making, leadership development and capacity building.

“I’m feeling really grateful to have had the opportunity to support the community in this unique way,” said NUDM 2023 executive co-chair Amy Fan. “Our executive board, committee members and dancers have worked so hard all year, and I can’t wait to celebrate our collective efforts throughout the weekend.”

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, NUDM 2023 will welcome beneficiary’s families to come into the tent to engage with dancers. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, Little Heroes League families are invited to dance in the NUDM tent and enjoy a performance from Seesaw Theatre, a Northwestern student theater group that produces and performs shows for children with autism and other disabilities.

NUDM executive co-chair Chloe Lim says there’s a lot of excitement around having the beneficiary back in the tent.

“Having the Little Heroes in the tent will make us sing a little louder and dance a little harder,” she said.

NUDM 2023 takes place in a huge outdoor heated tent behind the Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.  Any media wishing to attend or set up a virtual interview should RSVP to Stephen Lewis at or by call (312) 405-6397.

A livestream of the event can be viewed online (starting Friday evening, March 3) at

Since 1975, NUDM has raised more than $23 million for nearly three-dozen charities. Donations are still being collected at The final fundraising total will be presented to the beneficiaries via an oversized, eye-popping check at the conclusion of the marathon early Sunday morning.

About Little Heroes League:
Little Heroes League aids children with medical complexities transitioning from the NICU to their homes with ongoing, complex medical issues. “Little Heroes” have a 16% lower hospital readmission rate and experience 50% fewer visits to the emergency room, according to the organization. Children enrolled in this program reach milestones faster and more frequently than medically complex children without care coordination. Also, Little Heroes League primarily benefits families on Medicaid, providing them with free services “so their Little Heroes can get home sooner and stay home longer.”