The University of Maine’s fourth annual 12-hour Bearfest Dance Marathon raised $70,599.99 to help an area hospital support local children. The event surpassed last year’s $55,000 total and became the largest community fundraiser on campus.
About 300 people participated in the event at the New Balance Student Recreation Center. Participants stayed at the center for 12 hours, where they danced, played games and visited with several children who have received treatment at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, an EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
Brittany Dipompo and Josh Bellinger, UMaine students and co-chairs of the event, say Bearfest is a yearlong effort, with the executive committee spending the school year spreading the word about Bearfest and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“On the night of Bearfest, local Miracle [Network] children and their families attend part of the dance marathon. They share their inspiring stories with the participants,” the organizers say. “It’s also an opportunity to play and have a carefree time making memories with the University of Maine students who have worked so hard to fundraise in honor of them.”
Money raised from the event will be donated to EMMC’s Pediatrics Department and Rosen Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.