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Dancers ready to find their rhythm

Dance Marathon, March 3-5, will benefit Little Heroes League and Evanston Community Foundation
dance marathon 2023
For the first time since the pandemic, Dance Marthon will welcome the charity’s beneficiaries and their families into the tent to engage with dancers. Photo by Stephen Lewis

The familiar tent is up, and Northwestern University Dance Marathon (DM) 2023 kicks off in a few days.  The action starts at 7 p.m., Friday, March 3, and continues until 1 a.m., Sunday, March 5.

One of the nation’s largest student-run philanthropic efforts, DM 2023 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 and continue their recovery at home.

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 DM 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.”

> Related: Dance Marathon announces Little Heroes League as 2023 primary beneficiary

For the first time since the pandemic, DM 2023 will welcome the charity’s beneficiaries and their families into the tent to engage with dancers. From 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, Little Heroes League families are invited to dance in the DM 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.

DM executive co-chair Chloe Lim said there is a lot of excitement around having the beneficiaries 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.

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