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Aiming high: USC Dance Marathon sets $700,000 fundraising goal for the kids

An organization made up entirely of college students which has raised more than $1 million in the last two years for the kids at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital has every reason to be proud. This year’s University of South Carolina Dance Marathon team does have pride in the past accomplishments, but they’re hoping to go even higher.

After raising a record-breaking $527,810 in the 2015-16 school year, the students on Wednesday publicly announced a goal of $700,000 for this time around.

“I think this number is a big enough jump from last year’s total, but it’s still reachable, still attainable,” said USCDM President Gabi Santos. “We want it to be a challenge.”

“If it doesn’t scare you, I don’t think it’s high enough, and this number is just scary enough,” she added.

USCDM team members work year round to raise money, as well as getting to know the Miracle Kids from the hospital and their families. The fundraising builds to the Main Event, a 14-hour dance set for Feb. 25, 2017.

Santos said the key to reaching the lofty goal is spreading the word of the USCDM mission and getting more people fully involved.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of membership development this year,” she said. “Making sure it’s not just our staff that understands the cause, but participants, heroes… making sure they understand the cause and understand the minimum and why this is important and what it does for our community.”

Since its founding in 1999, USCDM has raised over $2.9 million with all of the funds staying in the Midlands to benefit Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

For more information, or to make a donation and help the students reach their $700,000 goal, click here.

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