One ballroom. Eighteen hours. Hundreds of dancing students.
These are the ingredients that make up raiseRED, the University of Louisville’s largest student-run philanthropy that has raised over $4.1 million for pediatric cancer and blood disorders research and patient support since 2013.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, raiseRED will be held Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25, at the Swain Student Activities Center Ballroom.
raiseRED is a dance marathon that benefits UofL’s Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute outpatient clinic. Participants raise a minimum of $200 per person to participate, with many raising even more.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24, and culminates with the big reveal of total dollars raised at the Community Celebration from 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Feb. 25.
In between, students will kick up their heels. To keep up their spirits – and help keep their eyes open – several events-within-the-event are held. Among them are:
- Buzz for the Cure: A long-standing raiseRED tradition, students pledge to shave their head, or do a major chop, during the dance marathon if they reach their fundraising goal.
- Angel Hour: The people in participants’ lives who have been impacted by cancer and blood disorders are recognized and remembered.
- Mail Call: Letters of support from participants’ loved ones are read to cheer them on.
- Neon Silent Disco: The speaker system goes silent and participants wear headphones to dance to music only they can hear.
- And new this year: The Hypnotic Experience. Hypnotist ‘TG’ Rivers will tap participants to be hypnotized to entertain the crowd.
It’s the cause, however, of battling childhood cancer and blood disorders that is the core of the effort, said raiseRED Executive Director Valerie Tran, a senior majoring in industrial engineering.
“raiseRED is a year-long effort to help children with cancer and blood disorders in the Louisville area, and I’m so humbled to see the courage these kids show,” Tran said. “I know what we are doing and the funds we raise can make a difference in the lives of these children and their families every day.”
For information and to donate, visit the raiseRED website here.