By Briana Williams–

After months of fundraising, U of L students helped bring $459,402.50 to Louisville pediatric cancer and disease research. For the fourth consecutive year, U of L’s 18-hour dancing marathon exceeded its initial goal.

RaiseRED was intended to bring students closer to their community while helping U of L’s research efforts. Over 1,100 students participated in the event, making it the highest attended in RaiseRED history.

Before attending, all participants were required to raise $100. Many students went above that total, with the top fundraiser being Jordan Noble, who raised $5,395.

During the 18 hours, students can dance, play games and meet the children and families the donations benefit.

This year also brought the dance marathon’s first running-only participant. Connor Jackson ran for a majority of the 18 hours and ended the event running over 52 miles, a double marathon. Jackson’s dedication brought dozens of other students to the provided treadmills. Together, the group ran over 110 miles. Jackson said he didn’t expect that many students to also run.

Student Alex Levesque also took advantage of the treadmills by dressing up as Forrest Gump and running over 20 miles.

The last two hours of RaiseRED were open to the community. During this time, RaiseRED participants put on a seven minute routine they spent parts of the marathon learning. Dancers also had the opportunity to meet and play with the children who are affected by the diseases RaiseRED donates funds towards.

Awards were also given out during these hours. Sigma Chi and Kappa Delta were awarded for being the top organizations for the event. Sigma Chi raised over $28,000 with 72 participants while Kappa Delta raised over $14,000 with 70 participants.

College departments, other Greek organizations, RSOs and individual dancers were other groups a part of the marathon.

A pivotal moment of the marathon was the ribbon-tying ceremony. Participants were asked to tie ribbons around a rope for relatives they’ve lost to cancer and children who’ve passed away from cancer and blood diseases. Seniors were also asked to tie a ribbon for it being their last raiseRED before graduation.

Planning and fundraising for next year’s raiseRED begins almost immediately after this year’s.

Photos by Isaac Sanchez/ The Louisville Cardinal

Photos by Dustin Massengill / The Louisville Cardinal