Dance Marathon renames main event to ZiggyThon

Dominic Binkley and Dominic Binkley

The Dance Marathon organization recently changed the name of its main event from Dance Marathon to ZiggyThon and will host their annual Mini Marathon this March.

John Day, president of Dance Marathon, said the name of the event was changed because it was confusing to have the same name for both the organization and their main event.

“We felt like we were confusing people when we said, ‘hey, come join Dance Marathon at Dance Marathon,’” said Day, a senior.

The group renamed the event ZiggyThon to try to reconnect with campus.

“The past previous years we’ve noticed that we tend to forget that we’re a student organization, not just an organization on campus,” Day said. “Giving it the name ZiggyThon is kind of our way of showing the University what it means to us and how grateful we are that they allow Dance Marathon to be on our campus.”

Sarah Sanchez, a core committee member for Mini Marathon, said the name change makes ZiggyThon feel more united with dance marathons at other schools like Ohio State, whose event is called BuckeyeThon.

“Now we’re connected with [the events at other schools] because we have an official title for our final event, too,” said Sanchez, a University junior.

Dance Marathon will host the 32-hour ZiggyThon during the weekend of April 5, 2014 in the Perry Field House.

In the meantime, Dance Marathon is planning their eleventh annual Mini Marathon, a shorter version of ZiggyThon, directed toward local high school students that will be hosted Saturday March 1, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Union Ballroom.

Eight local schools including Anthony Wayne High School, Bowling Green High School and Central Catholic High School are already participating and raising money for the event but Dance Marathon expects to have from 10 to 15 high schools total participate, said Austin Flores, the Dance Marathon member in charge of Mini Marathon.

The Mini Marathon is similar to ZiggyThon with many of the same activities and fundraisers but is shortened from 32 hours to seven hours for the high school students, said Flores, a sophomore.

Dance Marathon is also looking into possibly getting musical groups from the University like the a cappella group Ten40 to perform at the event, he said.

ZiggyThon and Mini Marathon both raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, an international nonprofit organization that uses the money raised from the University’s Dance Marathon events to support Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo.

“All the money we raise goes to new medical equipment, research that they do, therapy and it also goes to stuff that the kids can do while they’re in the hospital like the playroom and things like that to keep them entertained,” Sanchez said.

Flores said the event is also a way of supporting the University community by attracting local high school students.

“We work with admissions as a kind of recruitment event to bring future falcons to the University,” he said.

Sanchez said Mini Marathon also gives high school students who might feel like they cannot make a difference an opportunity to be involved in something great and gain a passion for helping others, which they will continue at the University.

Dance Marathon members are excited to see how big they can make this year’s event, she said.

“We want this to be the great year,” Sanchez said. “Dance Marathon’s new motto is ‘This is the New Year’ and that’s also for Mini Marathon so we’re really excited to see how big and great it can get this year.”