Dance Marathon 26 recognizes top fundraisers for pediatric cancer

In the eighteenth hour of Dance Marathon 26, an awards ceremony recognized the top fundraisers within individual dancers, greek chapters, and student organizations.


Katie Goodale

(From left) Haley Talbot, Emily Yeast, and Audi Zapf receives awards for raising the most money of organizers and students during Dance Marathon 26 in the IMU on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.

Rin Swann, News Reporter

A little over 18 hours into University of Iowa’s 26th year of Dance Marathon, students and organizations who contributed the most for pediatric cancer were recognized in an awards ceremony Saturday afternoon.

These honors continue following award presentations that began earlier in the day with a donation of $44,113.59 on behalf of faculty and staff.

The awards were presented by Bill Nelson, associate dean and executive director of the Iowa Memorial Union, which has hosted the Dance Marathon since its inception. 

“The Iowa Memorial Union was your birthplace and I hope will be your forever home for this particular event,” Nelson said. “We recognize individual students and registered student organizations for their amazing contributions.”

The Chris Metzger award was given to the student organization that raised the most for UI Dance Marathon, and was distributed by Nellie Link, associate director of student engagement and campus programs in the UI Dean of Students’ office. This year, the award went to Medicus, a pre-medical student organization that prepares students for the medical field. 

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The Mary Peterson Award was given to the highest-earning sorority or fraternity and was given out by Mary Peterson herself. Peterson once served on Dance Marathon’s executive council and was the associate director of the Center for Human Activities, now called the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. The award was given to Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. 

The third award was the UI Center for Advancement Young “‘Phil’anthropist Award,” which honored the highest Dance Marathon Leadership fundraiser. It was awarded by Sheila Baldwin, who served on the executive board during Dance Marathon 4 and is currently vice president for Health Sciences Development. 

The award was given to Hailee Talbot, a UI senior who was involved with Dance Marathon for four years. By the time she received the award, she had raised $11,425. 

“It just kind of culminates all of the work and effort and passion that I’ve had for this organization, the kiddos, and families, throughout the past 4 years,” Talbot said

The final award was the Lisa Baum Award, which was given to the dancer who fundraised the most. This year, the award was given to junior Emily Weist, who fundraised $11,605 at the moment of the award. 

“It just showcases how much anybody can raise,” said Weist. “All you have to do is ask your family and your friends and your peers. It’s just amazing to see how much of a difference this will actually make for the families.”

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The ceremony closed with acknowledgment of the dancers who had raised the most. Those students received certificates on stage.

“I think at its core, [Dance Marathon] is about love,” Nelson said. “It’s absolutely about love. The love that you share and you give.”

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