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ELONTHON check is one 'For the Kids'

Organizers of a springtime dance marathon presented a check on May 13 to Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, the nonprofit beneficiary of Elon University's largest annual student-led fundraising event.

From left: Elon University sophomore Conor Janda, sophomore Matt Crehan, junior Kaylyn Weller and Duke Children's Hospital representative Keri Christianson.

An Elon University dance marathon raised nearly $185,000 last month to support Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center and the Children's Miracle Network, and three of the students instrumental to the success of that event presented a check Tuesday to a hospital representative on campus for the final College Coffee of the spring.

ELONTHON executive committee members Kaylyn Weller, Conor Janda and Matt Crehan addressed a Phi Beta Kappa Plaza crowd before handing a $184,979.94 ceremonial check to Keri Christianson, assistant director of special programs at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center.

“Duke Children’s Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country for children to get the care that they need,” said Weller, a junior psychology major from Huntersville, N.C., who will serve next year as executive director of ELONTHON. “The money we raised this year will go straight to helping the children and their families at the hospital. Remember that every dollar raised is making a huge difference in the life of somebody else.”

More than 1,300 students took part in the 24-hour dance marathon held April 4-5, 2014, in Alumni Gym. University students first hosted ELONTHON in 2003 and since then have raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars by citing the organization’s motto “For the Kids” as they solicit contributions from family and friends.

Patients and their families attended the marathon to share stories with dancers. Parents and patients both saw for themselves the energy Elon University students commit to ELONTHON, which provided a spiritual boost to young children just as important as the financial assistance to the hospital.

“This money adds to the ‘heart and soul’ elements of a hospital not covered by insurance like visiting magicians, clowns and other toys for young patients,” Christianson said. “And when I see Elon students interacting with our patients, they get the biggest smiles out of the kids. For our kids, these students are major role models.”

Visit the ELONTHON website for more information on fundraising efforts.

Eric Townsend,
5/13/2014 1:20 PM