By KELSEY LAVERDIERE
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The greatest tradition in college sports — the Hawkeye Wave — looked drastically different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Hawkeyes everywhere still came together For the Kids.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, a student organization that provides year-round support to youth cancer patients and their families, raised $1,422,433.27 at its 24-hour Dance Marathon.
The University of Iowa Athletics Department offered fan cutouts, because of attendance restrictions from COVID-19. The department sold fan cutouts and donated 20 percent of the revenue to UI Dance Marathon. The remaining profits supported the I-Club General Scholarship Fund – a fund that supports all UI student-athletes.
Hawkeye fans purchased nearly 2,000 cutouts for display in Kinnick Stadium, Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Xtreme Arena, raising $12,839 dollars for UI Dance Marathon. That gift had Elizabeth Jackson, executive director of UI Dance Marathon, doing her own celebration dance.
“It’s no secret that Dance Marathon has faced many challenges over the past year. That being said, I am blown away by the support we received,” Jackson said. “Our Dance Marathon families need us now more than ever and I’m proud to say that our community recognizes that need and continues to show up for them. We greatly appreciate everything that the Iowa Athletics Department has done for our families and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”
"We greatly appreciate everything that the Iowa Athletics Department has done for our families and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”Elizabeth Jackson, Executive Director of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon
During a normal year, Iowa student-athletes spend many volunteer hours at the hospital. While visitor restrictions prohibited that from happening this year, Hawkeye student-athletes united to raise nearly $2,000 for Dance Marathon.
“Since we weren’t able to volunteer in the hospital this year, due to COVID, it was very important for us to donate to Dance Marathon to show our continued support,” Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Chair and men’s gymnast, Noah Scigliano said.
While Hawkeyes everywhere wish circumstances were different this season, coming together to support UI Dance Marathon was a highlight in a trying year, and the Iowa Athletics Department looks forward to supporting Dance Marathon for many years to come.
"Since we weren’t able to volunteer in the hospital this year, due to COVID, it was very important for us to donate to Dance Marathon to show our continued support.”Noah Scigliano, Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Chair & Iowa Men's Gymnast