April 6, 2014: UCF Knight-Thon 2014 raises more than $300,000. Video by Nicole Bleier.
Editor's note: This is an archive story that was originally published on April 6, 2014.
UCF students tested their endurance by pulling an all-nighter on Saturday, but it wasn't to study for finals — it was for the kids.
More than 800 students are standing and dancing for 20 hours during UCF's annual Knight-Thon fundraiser. The philanthropy event is the largest of its kind at UCF, and donations from the event benefit the Greater Orlando Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Starting at 11 a.m. on April 5, students from many areas of campus life assemble in The Venue to raise money and to raise the hopes of children needing medical care.
Throughout the dance marathon, a morale team works to raise dancers' spirits, and activities are available to keep students awake and entertained.
"As event chair, I'm in charge of the crafts, which entertain our dancers throughout their 20-hour stand," said Sebastiam Eyzaguirre, event chair of Knight-Thon. "Each craft goes along with the theme hour that we have throughout the event. The theme hours range from party in the U.S.A., to CMN [Children's Miracle Network] hour when we celebrate our miracle children."
Theme hours and events include:
- UCF spirit, at 2 p.m.
- Miracle Kids, at 3:45 p.m.
- Party in the U.S.A., at 5:30 p.m.
- Our Time is POW, at 7:30 p.m.
- Hypnotist, at 9 p.m.
- Great Gatsby, at 10 p.m.
- NOWstalgia, at 12:30 a.m.
- Slumber Party, at 2 a.m.
- Rave Hour, at 4 a.m.
Closing ceremonies begin at 6 a.m., and this year, Knight-Thon is allowing people to purchase a Total Reveal Visiting Pass, which allows visitors to watch the reveal of the final donation count while on the second floor of The Venue.
It's clear, according to some dancers, that the final moments of the event come with a rewarding payoff.
"I'm probably most excited about, for tomorrow morning, when we actually get to reveal how much we've raised," said Ashley Stephen, interdisciplinary senior. "The kids are already coming out and making me cry, so I'm sure I'll be a wreck by that time."
Last year, UCF raised $258,554, according to a press release, and this year, the fundraising goal is more than $300,000.