When it was over, students at raiseRED’s annual dance marathon, had danced their way to an event record in fundraising.

This year, raiseRED doubled the amount of dancers and raised six times more money than last year.  A total of 659 dancers brought in  $150,936.89.

Executive Director Taylor Davis attributes the success of the event to all involved.

“The event went so fast. Everyone was having a ton of fun with the kids. The team leaders definitely enhanced the event by pushing the dancers which in turn led to more fundraising,” she said.

Community engagement was also a huge factor, Davis said, noting that local personalities such as Angie Fenton, WDJX’s Kelly K., and UofL basketball emcee Joey Wagner attended. Lastly, she said, the university itself was involved with raiseRED which made the students feel appreciated.

But for Davis, the biggest VIPs were the patients themselves.

“The most important guests were the children,” she said. “They enjoyed themselves and it tied everything in together.”

Funds from raiseRED go to the UofL Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation. Ken Lucas, division chief in the UofL Department of Pediatrics, was impressed with the efforts of raiseRED.

“The students and supporters of raiseRED did an amazing job, raising $150,000 for pediatric cancer research and for the care of children with cancer and blood disorders served by our program,” Lucas said. “These funds are vital to continue our mission in caring for these patients as well as advancing clinical research for these children.”

Students have already begun planning next year’s event and they want it to be even better.

“It’s incredibly heartwarming to see students come together for a great cause,” said Vice President for University Advancement Keith Inman. “The hundreds of raiseRED organizers and participants have set the standard for what student philanthropy can mean to our university and community.”