BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A record-setting grand total of $22,284.49 was raised for the
OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois during Illinois Wesleyan University’s
annual TitanThon. The year-long fundraising effort culminated with TitanThon’s main event on Saturday,
Feb. 1 in the Young Main Lounge.
TitanThon, whose slogan is “For The Kids,” is a registered student organization (RSO)
with a mission to provide monetary and emotional support to the children and families
of the OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
“In a lot of ways, raising money for the Children's Hospital feels impactul, especially
since the Children's Hospital gives us a lot of control where the money goes,” said
Evan White ’20, the president and event coordinator of TitanThon. White said this
year, the organization decided to donate the funds to OSF’s Neonatal Intensive Care
TitanThon, which partnered with Greek Life organizations and other RSOs across campus,
spent hours each week during the summer and first semester planning the Feb. 1 main
event. During the event, which lasted from 4-10 p.m., participants pledged to stand
on their feet for the entirety of the evening in honor of Children’s Hospital patients
The event, which is a celebration of the year’s fundraising efforts, also included
many activities that encouraged people to donate to the Children’s Hospital. One of
the events included painting rocks to donate to the Children’s Hospital garden. Other
events included Zumba, choreographed dances, as well as activities that encouraged
students to fundraise.
“At the 7 p.m. hour, we did a fundraising push where if students raise up to $1,200
within one hour, participants could throw paint at an executive board member,” said
White, who is an elementary education major.
When the fundraising campaign concluded with a grand total of $22,284.49 raised, White
and all other members involved felt a sense of “relief.”
“It felt like all the hard work went to something great and is something to be proud
of,” he said. “No matter what, we are happy when we raise money for the hospital,
but when we raised the most this year, it was exciting to feel like we are making
an even bigger contribution.”
Along with fundraising a record amount of money, White said the organization achieved
many other goals, such as having over 50 returners –– people who participated in the
past –– attend the event for a second time. Other achieved goals included moving the
event from the Hansen Student Center to the Young Main Lounge, hiring a professional
DJ, and creating an alumni program that encourages alumni to attend.
“By revamping our event, we think it gave it a new breath of originality,” White said.
In addition to revamping the main event, White said another goal was to expand the
efforts of the organization beyond the big event. He said the organization hosted
several events earlier in the year to encourage fundraising efforts. These events
included blacklight zumba, tours of the Children’s Hospital, as well as an event,
"Kookies with Kaden," where students could decorate cookies with Kaden, a “miracle
Kaden, along with three other “miracle kids”–– supported by TitanThon –– attended
the main event. Participants had the opportunity to interact with the children through
games, reading, and dancing, and meet the children and families whose lives are being
impacted by TitanThon.
“All of them are incredibly supportive and love helping and coming to the event,”
He added that one of the kids rescheduled her surgery to attend the event because
her family “loves the event so much.”
“The best feeling is when the miracle kid families thank us and show support. It is
always a wonderful feeling when we receive the support from the families to do what
we do,” he said.
TitanThon is nationally affiliated with the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a national
organization on over 300 U.S. college campuses that fundraises for their local Children’s
Miracle Network Children's Hospital.
Most programs conclude with a big event ranging from four to 46 hours in which the
participants hear stories from Miracle Families, participate in activities, and fundraise
for their local children's hospital.