Syracuse's OttoTHON Receives National Dance Marathon Community Engagement Award

OttoTHON at Syracuse University was recently awarded the Community Engagement award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The Community Engagement Award recognizes the Dance Marathon organization that executed a successful initiative, event, or campaign to reach a new demographic in the campus or local community over the past year.

OttoTHON receives the Community Engagement Award at DMLC 2018 from Riley Hospital for Children patient, Tyler.

Located in the middle of the 16th poorest city in America, OttoTHON realized that community engagement was something they always needed to keep at the forefront of their mission. To work on just that, over the year OttoTHON began hosting mini dance marathons at their local Boys and Girls Club. They brought a small slice of what they do during their annual main dance marathon to these kids during the mini dance marathons.

OttoTHON aimed to spread awareness for their Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, and all the resources the hospital offers to their local community through the mini dance marathon. It was also a great way to help provide programming for the Boys and Girls Club and give their executive board and committee members the opportunity to move beyond campus and into the community.

At their mini dance marathons, there was lots of dancing and a bracelet making activity. OttoTHON wanted to give the Boy and Girls Club kids the opportunity to give back to the kids at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital without having to contribute financially. The bracelets the kids made were then handed out to OttoTHON’s miracle kids and families during their own dance marathon.

Posted by OttoTHON – Syracuse University's Dance Marathon on Sunday, April 22, 2018

By partnering with the Boys and Girls Club and bringing dance marathon out of the hospital and into the surrounding community, OttoTHON expanded their community engagement and ultimately the scope of their mission.

To continue building their community engagement this fall, OttoTHON is sponsoring a Friday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club by providing programming and continued child health education. Working with the Boys and Girls Club has increased OttoTHON’s awareness toward their local community and has helped integrate the community into their mission.


Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 1991, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $250 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon:

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