WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- The NCAA March Madness tournaments have inspired a new movement on Purdue's campus this month. This week kicks off "Miracle Madness." It's a fundraising event that benefits kids at Riley Hospital for Children.
Several students will go head to head to see who can raise the most amount of money in the quickest amount of time. This event is through Purdue University's Dance Marathon committee.
The goal is to keep funds flowing to child-cancer research and Riley Hospital, especially as the hospital is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
PUDM typically takes place during the fall semester. It brings together hundreds of students with a mission of meeting a fundraising goal while dancing, playing fundraising games, and enjoying other activities. Last year's PUDM fundraiser was done virtually in order to meet CDC Covid-safety guidelines. While students raised around $773,000, this event typically brings in over a million dollars every year.
Organizers say Miracle Madness was created to keep the fundraising momentum going especially with Covid-19 impacting the amount they were able to raise last year.
"It's harder for these families to be able to pay for treatment. Every dollar helps," said Will Napier, public relations executive for PUDM. "It's been really hard for researchers to be able to do the work that they need to do and the funding definitely helps."
He said he's seen firsthand how these fundraisers impact the kids at Riley Hospital.
"It's just so inspiring to see these little kids who were just going through so much but they're staying so strong and they're staying so optimistic," said Napier. "It just feels really great to know that what we're doing is really helping them, cause they tell us all the time how much it means."
There are 16 teams competing. Each team represents the different committees that make up PUDM.
Monday's goal was to raise at least $23 to represent the 230 researchers at the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research. Tuesday's goal is to raise at least $28 dollars to represent the 28 certified child-life specialists at Riley Hospital. Wednesday, students get the day off from fundraising to have a fun day on campus to help promote their event. Then on Thursday and Friday, the goal is for each team to raise at least $43 to represent the 43 kids diagnosed with cancer each day. The final round goal on Saturday is set for $62, which represents the 62 kids who enter a Children's Miracle Network Hospital every day.