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This year’s Knight-Thon theme was “Write Your Own Legacy,” and UCF students did that by raising $1,584,698.22 for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Central Florida’s Children’s Miracle Network hospital – a staggering $333,737.01 more than last year’s amount.

Tyler Mann, a junior UCF student and member of Phi Delta Theta, was at the event from 10:45 a.m. Saturday until just after 12:00 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s a blast. It’s exhausting, but it’s a blast,” Mann said.

Over 1,000 students stood, danced, sang and played games for over 20 hours to raise money. Every time a gong, located on a side stage in the CFE Federal Credit Union Arena, was hit, it symbolized $100 or more donated. Each hit was met with cheers and claps.

Every shirt, headband, sign and fanny pack was adorned with the letters ‘FTK’ – ‘For The Kids.’  

Kyler Gray, a sophomore public administration student at UCF and member of Phi Delta Theta, got a chance to visit the event last year, and knew that this year he wanted to accept the role as a dancer to help the cause.

Teams sponsored a “Miracle Child,” or a child who benefits from the money raised at Dance Marathon events. Gray and Mann’s fraternity sponsored William, an 8-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Periventricular Leukomalacia and Cerebral Palsy.

“It really hits close to home… we talk about ‘For The Kids,’ raising money for the kids, and to actually be able to see [the kids] is kind of breathtaking,” Gray said. “You see how… events like these across the country really benefit [them], it’s really incredible.”