BGSU broke the record with its first Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon at the Student Recreation Center March 16-17, 1996.
The Dance Marathon was founded in 1991 in memory of Ryan White, and the event is now held annually at over 100 university campuses across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the BGSU Dance Marathon is to raise money and awareness for Mercy Children’s Hospital and to benefit Miracle Families through fundraising and the involvement of the campus and the community.
The first BGSU Dance Marathon was held in 1996, and participants raised more money than any other first-year dance marathon at the time. Up until 1996 the most raised at a single event was $31,000, but the BGSU Dance Marathon broke this record by raising $45,476. The Dance Marathon at the University also set the record as the largest student-run philanthropy in Ohio.
BGSU set another record in 1997 when it raised $102,958.17, which more than doubled the previous record set by Iowa City, Iowa for a second-year Dance Marathon.
The Dance Marathon continued to be held in the Student Recreation Center until it was closed for renovations in 2014. That year the event took place in the Perry Field House where it continued to be held in the years that followed.