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South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster summoned the current student leaders of University of South Carolina Dance Marathon to the State House Wednesday to recognize their ongoing work to support the kids at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital.

McMaster issued an official proclamation declaring Feb. 26, 2020 as South Carolina Dance Marathon Day. The proclamation recognizes the UofSC Dance Marathon for raising a record $1,038,156 for the hospital in 2019 and includes recognition for other college and high school Dance Marathon programs across the state. Many high school programs in the Midlands were started through the leadership of UofSC Dance Marathon.

“The people of South Carolina owe these organizations a debt of gratitude for their selfless efforts to support patients and their families,” McMaster says. “This really is quite a thing these young people do.”

University President Bob Caslen joined the students and the governor for the ceremony, calling the students “some of the most outstanding young men and women in the state of South Carolina.”

“For these young men and women to not only undertake this but also do it for such a worthy cause says a lot about who they are their character and what they stand for. I'm proud to be their president,” Caslen says.

UofSC Dance Marathon started in 1999 and has grown into the largest student-run philanthropy on campus, raising more than $6.7 million total and, in recent years, fully funding the hospital’s Child Life Department.

“We are very, very passionate about the cause: the children that are in Prisma Health Children’s Hospital,” says UofSC Dance Marathon President Justin Gill. “We're very appreciative for the efforts the governor has made to raise awareness for the Prisma Health system throughout the state and Dance Marathon programs throughout the state as well.”

UofSC Dance Marathon will host its annual Main Event Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, with more than 2,000 students coming together for a 14-hour dance and final fundraising push for the school year, with the goal of setting another new record.

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