This year’s edition of the annual RebelTHON event, which took place Saturday, raised $211,530.23 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
RebelTHON is one of the largest student-run organizations on campus. Students, patients and families participate in the dance marathon, as events, including silent disco, create a unique fundraising opportunity.
“This organization over the past years has made drastic improvements for the only children’s hospital in Mississippi, everything from cosmetics to practical. This year, we were able to raise $211,530.23 and that money can be put toward wherever needed, but I have heard part of that money is being allocated to a playground. I think RebelTHON is important because it is also indirectly helping stop the ‘Mississippi Brain Drain,” Ethan Robertson, sophomore political science major, said.
Since beginning 11 years ago, RebelTHON has raised more than $1 million dollars. A room at Batson Children’s Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson is dedicated to RebelTHON. Donations have contributed to the hospital’s AirCare Flight Team, upgraded patient and family areas and assisted with hospital renovations.
On the RebelTHON website, hospital benefactors Kathy and Joe Sanderson say the event reaches beyond the money earned in one day.
“This campaign will mean better outcomes for children, better research and more doctors staying in Mississippi because they have the right facilities in which to practice. This campaign isn’t just for the children who need it today. It’s a campaign for future generations,” they said.
Morale captains are one of the groups that make RebelTHON possible. Team members learn fun choreography and perform every hour of the dance marathon.
“I am proud of all the students who came to spend their Saturday night with us. But mainly I admire all the kids who have been going to the Batson Children’s Hospital for all these years as they watch the infrastructure get better with them growing and pushing forward. No other organization is as fulfilling. This was true servanthood in a rewarding way,” Robertson said.