This spring, State DM set a fundraising record for the event that supports the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis — $220,000.43.

Much work takes place all year long to pull off the huge 12-hour dance marathon.

“We start planning for the event in October by asking entertainers if they’d like to come to our marathon and food companies to see if they would consider donating to us at the beginning of the next year,” said Maddy Roemer, State DM vice president of internal affairs.

The executive board’s work begins in the previous summer months.

“For the actual marathon it takes a crew, so roughly between 50 to 100 people to ensure that everything is done and ready to go,” said Emily Dircks, director of events. “There is a lot to set up and take down, so making sure it’s done efficiently as possibly sometimes requires a lot of hands on deck.”

This year, State Dance Marathon held the event in the Student Recreation Center. All members on the executive board and committees began setting up Friday evening for the Saturday event.

“I would say that roughly 500 people were involved at the marathon, but we had over 700 people registered,” said Carrie Lane, director of merchandise.

In addition to the work put on by students, State DM is an event that draws the attention of students because of personal or family experiences. And children — Riley Kids — who have benefited from treatment at Riley Hospital also attend and share their experiences.

“Without pediatric hospitals like Riley, my family and many other families would not be as fortunate as they are today,” Dircks said. “Also, I believe if you are truly passionate about something, you will do everything you can. And for me, that is dancing as much as I can to help out those amazing kiddos.” 

The reason behind this daylong event differs between dancers, but ultimately most dancers are there to support someone they love.

 “I dance for all kids, but especially my sister and cousin, Owen,” Lane said. 

Riley Hospital for Children changes lives and State Dance Marathon wants to impact those lives.