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ELONTHON leaders present check to Duke Children’s Hospital

New communication strategies and a jump in participation helped the annual student-led fundraising event more than double from last year its gift amount to the Children’s Miracle Network.

From left: Elon sophomore Lizzy Lykens, junior Liz Jester, junior Allyssa Rabinowitz and Keri Christianson with Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center.

Student leaders involved in this spring’s ELONTHON dance event presented on Tuesday a check for more than $212,000 to a representative of Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, the nonprofit beneficiary of the campus’s largest annual fundraising event.

Elon University juniors Allyssa Rabinowitz and Liz Jester, along with sophomore Lizzy Lykens, made the formal gift during the final College Coffee of the academic year on Phi Beta Kappa Plaza.

The official total – $212,728 – was more than double the previous year’s amount, making Elon University one of only three universities in the nation to have ever marked such a feat in the history of the “THON” programs that assist the Children’s Miracle Network and participating medical centers.

Jester, the ELONTHON fundraising chair for the current year, identified two factors that contributed to the spike in donations: a 50 percent increase in participants, and a new strategy in contacting prospective supporters. Jester said she crafted personalized messages to family and friends of registered participants rather than rely on form emails.

The 24-hour dance marathon was held April 12-13, 2013, in Alumni Gym. It was the eighth year for the program at Elon University, which first hosted ELONTHON in 2003.

Organizers said that for the hospital and the children it serves, the gifts will go a long way to showing young patients how much they’re loved by the Elon University community.

“It’s been wonderful working with this team,” said Keri Christianson, the assistant director of special programs at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center. “They had a lot of energy and enthusiasm. This money supports our many programs, including entertainers who visit children, and so much more.”

Eric Townsend,
5/14/2013 1:10 PM