The 16th annual Butler University Dance Marathon takes place on Saturday, February 3, from noon to midnight in the Health and Recreation Center. For 12 hours, participants will dance, play basketball and other games, and eat, eat, and eat some more—all for a good cause.

The student-run fundraiser supports Riley Hospital for Children, in honor of Sarah Michelle Cohen, an honorary Dawg who died August 13, 2009, before she could attend Butler.

At the end of the evening, the organizers reveal the amount raised. Last year, BUDM raised $402,440.01 for Riley Hospital for Children.

“The Butler University Dance Marathon organization has not set a goal for the end of the night reveal,” Dodson says, “because no matter what the number is, at the end of the day it is giving hope to all the Riley kids of the past, present, and future.”

We asked some of the organizers: What does BUDM mean to you?

Apparel Chair Bailee Dodson: “BUDM has been a huge impact in my life because it truly shows me what giving your whole heart look like. I have seen my committee members go above and beyond for a great cause and that truly keeps me going during the most stressful times. On 75k Day”—the day they try to raise $75,000—”I truly saw the magic of the Butler community, my family, and friends and I think that has been a huge impact on my life to see people I love go the extra mile FTK!”

Director of Dancer Relations Elaine Holmes: “BUDM is has helped me find a way to use my talents to further a cause about which I am passionate. Because of BUDM, I have found inspiration for my future in the healthcare field through our efforts for a world where all kids can join in the dancing.”

Co-director of Entertainment Sarah Thuet: “BUDM has made such a difference in not only my time at Butler but also my life as a whole. This organization transcends any limitation I’ve ever seen stop other fundraising organization. It’s such an inspiring, selfless and humble group of people who are just giving their all to help others. I truly am inspired and motivated by the BUDM committee every single day.”

All students, faculty, and staff at Butler University are welcome to participate. There is a $50 dancer minimum to join in.

This year’s Dance marathon will include a plethora of fun activities and food for all the participants to enjoy. Dodson says there will be an electronic bull, a bounce house obstacle course, a three-on-three basketball tournament, a face painter, and a rave to the end the night before the final reveal.

“There is something new every hour,” she says.

  1. How to Get Involved
  2. Register at
  3. Start fundraising
  4. Head to the HRC from noon to midnight, this Saturday, February 3.