March 26, 2018

Dance Big Red Raises Over $73,000 for Child Cancer and Heart Care

BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (March 26, 2018) – Dance Big Red raised $73,067.84 for pediatric heart care and adolescent cancer care at Norton Children's Hospital after dancing for 12 hours on March 24.  Nearly 800 Western Kentucky University students participated in the fourth-annual student-led fundraising event held over the weekend at Raymond B. Preston Health & Activities Center, increasing participants and fundraising efforts from the previous year.



“The outcome is overwhelming for the fourth year.  Our hearts are overflowing with so much joy,” stated Johnny Mollman, Dance Big Red Co-Chair. “The event was inspirational with several families from Norton Children’s Hospital sharing about their journey.  Our tag line is so very true that Bad Dancing Saves Lives.”



Dance Big Red held various fundraising events throughout the year including Dodge for a Cause and Kick-it for the Kids.  The executive members have been involved with offering support to the Bowling Green Brave Hearts Chapter along with attending Brave Heart Camp at Center for Courageous Kids. 


“The success of the event is a testament to the strength of leadership and compassion found at WKU.” said Dana Matukas, IOM, Western Kentucky Development and Marketing Coordinator, Children’s Hospital Foundation and Norton Children’s Hospital.  “Children’s Hospital Foundation was contacted by a WKU sophomore in early 2014 with the idea to create a dance event to support Norton Children’s Hospital.  One student’s dream has now grown into an annual event that continues to grow with student participation and pledges impacting children from across the state that need specialized treatment.  Since the inaugural event four years ago, the event has raised over $170,000 for Norton Children’s Hospital.”

Western Kentucky University VP of Student Affairs Brian Kuster said, “Wow!  What a great job.  Congratulations to all of the volunteers, donors, and participants in the 2018 Dance Big Red event.  Our students care and they back it up with passion and energy.  Another example of the WKU Spirit.  Congrats also to Norton Children’s Hospital for an awesome boost in support impacting children from across Kentucky.


Dance Big Red launched Dance Little Reds which is a high school version of Dance Big Red.   A total of five high schools participated including Greenwood, South Warren, Warren East, Warren Central and Breathitt County High School.  Collectively the high schools raised nearly $14,000.

“Every dollar raised will make a difference for these children.  We believe in the strength of Norton Children’s Hospital.  The doctors, nurses and staff are phenomenal in so many ways,” said Justin Downey, Dance Big Red Co-Chair.

The event is possible due to hard work and dedication of volunteers at every level within Dance Big Red and the Dance Little Reds along with the sponsors.  The top tier sponsors included WKU Intramural Recreational Sports, Dynamic Entertainment, Modern Images, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Domino’s Pizza, bpm, LLC, Kiwanis Club of Bowling Green and Midtown.  The media sponsors included WBKO, Beaver, WUHU, WOVO, Sam FM, Nash Icon and Howdy.


Matukas added, “Norton Children’s Hospital is home to the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center, which cares for more than 650 children annually and has one of the nation’s largest sickle cell anemia treatment programs.  The hospital is also home to Norton Children’s Heart Center, which performs more than 400 heart surgeries and over 12,000 noninvasive diagnostic studies each year.”


Check out our video from 2018 Dance Big Red -



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