Elonthon’s in-person dance marathon returns, raises $134K for ‘miracle children’

With over 450 students in attendance, Elonthon returns to campus with a bang.

It’s been three years since the largest philanthropic event at Elon University has been able to have an in-person event. But on Saturday, April 2, Elonthon returned to Alumni Gym as over 450 students and several organizations throughout campus participated in the annual dance marathon.

A group of Elonthon volunteers playing with one of the miracle children.

“It was cool to see so many people from different places all over campus come together again,” said Maddy Abraham ’22, president of Elonthon. And those who came, showed out – raising $134,364.22 to benefit Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center, the nearest Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Since it began in 2003, Elonthon has raised more than $2 million as members of the Elon community have participated for six, seven or 13 hours while being able to hear the incredible stories of strength from nearly 30 “miracle children.”

Along with visits from entertainment group Elon’s Finest, the Elon Cheer team and various a capella groups, participants had a tug-of-war competition, pies to the face and, of course, danced.

Abraham has been involved with Elonthon for all four years she’s been a student at Elon and has spent three of those years on the executive board becoming president of the organization for this academic year. The mission of Elonthon is something of great importance to her, as she has been treated at Duke Children’s Hospital since she was 10 years old for an autoimmune disease.

“It was my way of being able to give back to a hospital that’s helped me so much,” Abraham said.

The work that Elonthon does has positively impacted the lives of so many children and their families for nearly 20 years. What started as a passionate display from a group of Elon students to celebrate an amazing young boy named Mason Lindley has evolved into a campus-wide initiative that supports hundreds of children from across the state.

“The biggest importance of it is to be able to help other kids have healthy childhoods and receive the treatment that they need to receive, whether it’s helping fund research or general care,” Abraham said. “What we do has impacted so many kids directly. Whether you have personal ties or not to the cause, you’re helping kids be able to experience the fullest childhood that they can.”

Members of the Elon Community gathered in Alumni Gym for the 2022 Elonthon dance marathon.