TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Hundreds of Indiana State students packed the ISU Student Recreational Center for the better part of 12 hours on Saturday as they hosted the annual “Dance Marathon” fundraiser to benefit Riley Hospital for Children.

It is the largest student-led organization at ISU, and President for the event this year, Ellie Denice, said the money goes to five different aspects of Riley Children’s Foundation, and their goal was to hit $100,000.

“It’s a lot of emotions, a lot of positive emotions,” she said. “I’ve been involved in the dance marathon for seven years now, since I was a freshman in high school. To be able to be the president of it is a dream come true for me. This exec team is awesome. I was a Riley kid myself, so being able to be with the kids and have people support this hospital is such a great cause.”

Denice said they have been working on the event–which runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.– for almost a calendar year. She said they had about 180 people sign up to participate Saturday, and she was pleased to watch everything come together.

“From where we started, where a lot of us didn’t know each other and a lot of them haven’t done a dance marathon before, so it was really cool that they were really excited and passionate about it and are wanting to learn more,” Denice said. 

She said she hopes next year ISU can work with students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on the event.

Fundraising ends at 10 p.m. Saturday, but Denice said Mod Pizza in Terre Haute will donate a portion of proceeds Sunday, April 16th to their organization.