Bearthon aims to raise $30k in funds for local children’s hospital

Jayla Moody, Opinions and Lifestyle Editor

MU Miracle is one of the newest organizations on campus, and it’s a part of over 350 student-led organizations that raise money for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, theirs being the Children’s Hospital of Navicent health.

The organization puts on events for the Mercer and Macon community to raise funds and awareness. Their biggest event is the annual Dance Marathon, Bearthon.

The group’s motto is FTK or “For the Kids.”

“Basically, we’re the student fundraising push for the entire cause,” said Pornchai Chantha, sophomore Sports Business and Marketing double major and Executive Director of MU Miracle.

The organization first came to campus in February 2016, with only two months to plan their six-hour dance marathon event.

“We were coming in and we really had no form or basis,” Chantha said . “And I’m not saying we didn’t do an incredible job, it’s just that we really didn’t know the structure of what we were doing.”

They planned to raise $8,000 last year and ended up raising over $22,000. This year’s event will take place March 25 in Penfield Hall from 4-10 p.m. The goal is to raise $30,000.

“This year we’re planning a lot more entertainment-wise,” Chantha said.

There will be several student performances and student organizations in attendance, including Three17, the group that won MU Miracle’s Koncert for Kids.

“We’re going to have a lot of fundraising opportunities, and we’re actually inviting about 40 Miracle families as well,” Chantha said.

There are about 220 people on MU Miracle’s donor drive right now. This is what they call their online fundraising option. You go online, create a team with an organization or your friends, or you can just join the general FTK The Bear Way team. After you register, you can have your own fundraising page, and people can donate to your page for MU Miracle.

“We invite all fundraisers who raise over $50 [to the Marathon], and that’s the entrance fee to get in the door,” Chantha said. “We post our sign up link everywhere on social media. That’s the most direct way to get involved.”

Chantha said the event is just a big pep rally. There are times allotted for speakers and videos, and there will also be one big line dance.

“You’re not dancing the whole time, but you’re encouraged to be on your feet,” he said.

“I’ve met so many passionate individuals this year who have heard about the cause and just want to give everything to it,” Chantha said. “It’s one thing to reach our goal, but it’s also another to get people to fundraise in the first place.”

Chantha said they’re just looking forward to watching everyone enjoy themselves for such a big cause.

“Raising $100 is more than raising zero,” he said. “It’s For the Kids.”