Virtual Dance Big Red raises $34k for Norton Children’s Hospital

Norton Children's Hospital
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Dance Big Red raised over $34K virtually to support pediatric heart for our community's tiniest patients by providing new diagnostic services at Norton Children's Outpatient Center - Bowling Green.

Western Kentucky University students participated in the sixth-annual student-led fundraising event held over the weekend utilizing an online Zoom platform. The virtual event allowed the fundraiser to continue as students, sponsors, families and community members practiced social distancing.

“In spite of and because of these times of uncertainty, we knew it was so important to fundraise and have the event,” stated Julie Sisler, Dance Big Red Co-Chair. “Even with so many road blocks, we were eager to find a way to push forward by offering a virtual event. It was important to our 2020 Dance Big Red Executives and Committee Members to work even harder for all the patients and families at Norton Children’s Hospital during these times. We didn't want to let the situation distract from our mission.”

Dance Big Red held various fundraising events throughout the year including Dodge for a Cause and Kick-it for the Kids. The executive members have been involved with offering support to the Bowling Green Brave Hearts Chapter and supporting various Norton Children’s Hospital outreach activities across the region along with visiting patients and touring the hospital in the summer.

“The perseverance among the WKU student leadership planning Dance Big Red 2020 was evident as their creativity and drive pushed the virtual event forward,“ said Dana Matukas, Western Kentucky Development and Marketing Coordinator, Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation and Norton Children’s Hospital. “Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation was contacted by a WKU sophomore in early 2014 with the idea to create a dance event to support Norton Children’s Hospital. One student’s dream has now grown into an annual event that continues to be a highly anticipated tradition at WKU impacting children from across the state that need specialized treatment. Since the inaugural event six years ago, the event has raised nearly $300K for Norton Children’s Hospital.”

Western Kentucky University Campus Recreation and Wellness Director Stephen Rey said, “Congratulations! All the volunteers, donors, and participants should be very proud of such an accomplishment. It’s how you overcome adversities, you become stronger. Our students care and they back it up with passion. Another example of the WKU Spirit.”

"A total of 19 WKU students served on the DBR Executive Board, with over 35 serving on one of the ten DBR Committees. It was really how all these students put their passion and handwork together that made the event a success," said Erin Donelson, Dance Big Red Co-Chair. "The WKU community truly showed out on Friday and we couldn't be more proud of the results and the impact that the event will have on Norton's Children's Hospital."

Pledges are still being accepted. Visit Dance Big Red