All of the money raised benefits the Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) in Oklahoma City through the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. The Children’s Hospital Foundation works wonders for sick kids by funding life-saving medical research, investing in vital new equipment, and providing some amazing entertainment, family support and care programs for sick kids at the OU Children's Hospital, the only level 1 trauma center in the state of Oklahoma. CHF understands the importance of family during a child’s treatment, and strives to make sure that no child ever has to leave the state of Oklahoma to receive the best medical care possible.
University of Oklahoma Dance Marathon (OUDM) is the University of Oklahoma's largest student-led philanthropy. Reborn in 2004, OUDM has become the official philanthropy of the Campus Activities Council. Since 2020, OUDM raised $2,543,584 for Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The student body of the University of Oklahoma has decided to come together for one reason, and that is to support the kids. We are here to provide an atmosphere that is fun and safe for them, a time in their hospital driven years where they can lose control and laugh free of worry. Not only do we want to support our Miracle Families with the research and doctors our fundraising allows, but also by providing events where they can step outside the hospital walls and enjoy the opportunity of just being a kid.
Students at OUDM make a pledge to stand a full 12 hours on their feet in support of the kids who can’t. Many Miracle Children will spend 12 hours a week in dialysis or chemotherapy, while a majority of nurses and doctors will also stand on their feet for 12 hours during a shift. We cannot be present in the treatment room, but we can show our support by standing in their place.
12 hours also represents the 12 months out of the year that students fundraise for OUDM. Each registrant has a personal goal that they set for themselves, and people like you help them reach it! Registrants send personal emails or letters to family and friends, sell Miracle Balloons, place change buckets at restaurants, host bake sales, sell t-shirts, and so much more. All 12 months of the year are filled with creative fundraising.
OU Dance Marathon was originally founded in 1996 by the current Dean of Price College of Business, Daniel Pullin. From 2000-2004, OU Dance Marathon was run by OU IFC and Panhellenic. In 2004, OU DM was adopted by CAC, and this changed the culture of OU Dance Marathon forever!
In 2010, OU Dance Marathon began to take our first steps toward change by raising $30,000. In 2011, the total more than doubled to $72,000. In 2012, the event changed from a 6-hour event to a 12-hour dance marathon. This marked our biggest year by raising $105,379.27!
In 2013, we changed our name to Soonerthon. In our first year with a new name, we raised $196,034.62. In 2014, this growth continued with a total of $318,711.14!
In 2015 Soonerthon made OU history by eclipsing the half-million dollar mark and raising $561,268.15! This momentum allowed us to surge to a total of $721,941.16 in 2016!
With the total raised in 2016, Soonerthon is the largest student led philanthropy at the University of Oklahoma. We have developed into a Top 15 Dance Marathon in the entire county, the #1 Dance Marathon in the Big Xll and the #1 donor to the Children's Hospital Foundation in Oklahoma City this year.
In 2017, Soonerthon raised $808,021.17 and continued to be a Top 15 Dance Marathon in the country. Soonerthon also became the largest donor to the Children's Hospital.
In 2018, Soonerthon hit one of its biggest milestones, raising $1,004,970.18. Soonerthon was able to join an elite group of Dance Marathons who have raised over $1,000,000 called the Extra Comma Club.
In 2020, Soonerthon was changed back to OU Dance Marathon, where students worked hard to continue fundraising amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, innovating solutions to keep the event safe for all, raising $775,268.21.