This coming Saturday, the University’s Dance Marathon will host its yearly Dance Marathon Mini-Marathon in the Union Ballroom.

The event is slightly different than the original Dance Marathon in that it is shorter— just seven hours compared to the original 32. Another key difference is that the mini-marathon recruits students from local high schools to participate.

Both marathons have the same goal in mind, which is to collect as much money as possible for local children’s hospitals.

Last year, the original and mini-marathons raised about $314,000 altogether. The mini-marathon was responsible for $22,000, with a total of $10,000 raised at the event itself (the other $12,000 came from a single donor outside of the University).

Sophomore Austin Flores is head of the mini-marathon committee and said he has been planning the event since last May. He is in charge of fundraising and recruiting students, which involves contacting local high schools and asking them if they are willing to participate.

Those who wish to participate then choose a group of students, usually those involved in extra-curricular activities at the school, to come and represent their high school at the event.

Flores said that six schools will be in attendance, up from last year’s four participating schools.

Although the main focus is on the high school students, anyone is welcome to attend the event. Registration costs $30 and a t-shirt and food is included in the price.

The day will feature an array of activities, beginning after registration. These include a minute-to-win-it act, carnival-themed activities, a mini-rave, family feud and a dance competition.

Flores said that some families from the children’s hospital will be in attendance as well to share their stories. This will be an opportunity for people to have a “connection to where their money is going,” said Flores.

At the end of the event, the total amount of money raised will be revealed and the high school that raised the most will receive a trophy.

Also included at the end of the marathon will be a ceremonial candle passing in honor of those for which the donations are given.

Sophomore Hannah Tempel is on the mini-marathon committee and said that this is her first year participating in the event. She said she joined because she wanted to be more involved on campus and that “Dance Marathon just stood out.”

“What I didn’t realize was how passionate everyone in Dance Marathon really is about helping the kids,” Tempel said.

Registration will begin at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday and the marathon will continue until 6 p.m.

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