Uniting Together For the Kids

by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant


A day of dancing, laughing, free food, games, music, friends, family and, most importantly, fundraising for the local Mankato Gillette Children’s
Specialty Healthcare is returning to MSU for its ninth consecutive year.

The event, called “MAVATHON,” is set for Saturday, Feb. 23, in the Centennial
Student Union from noon to 10 p.m. and will include free food, bowling, karaoke, dancing, a live DJ, jazzercise, a performance by the MSU Dance Team, a caricature artist, cosmic bingo and more. Local families and children impacted by Gillette will be in attendance at the event, something many participants look forward to every year.

“I’m excited to see all the families during the main event,” Travis Gerlach, a member of the MAVATHON executive board, said. “It brings so much more meaning to the money we’re raising to meet and talk with the families that benefit from it.”

This year the group is hoping to raise $32,000 for Gillette. So far, they’re
at about 40 percent of that goal and have hosted numerous fundraisers around
the city of Mankato to gather funds. The unity that MAVATHON brings to campus is something Ryan McCormick, Morale Director for the event, said is vital to its success.

“The most important aspect of MAVATHON is unity under one purpose. Hundreds of students from a variety of backgrounds, organizations, majors, and walks of life gather to achieve one goal: dance now for their (the kids) tomorrow,” he said. “We all set aside self-interest and work tirelessly to raise money, giving Gillette’s children a chance to fight back and lead a fulfilling life.”

MAVATHON is put on by an MSU recognized student organization called
Dance Marathon. The group works year-round to plan the event and fundraise money, all of which is donated locally to Gillette Children’s in Mankato. This is the ninth year the event has taken place at MSU and over the course of those nine years, MAVATHON, which is Minnesota largest dance marathon, has raised more than $100,000 for Gillette — more than any other Minnesota dance marathon.

Gillette Children’s is an affiliate of the Children’s Miracle Network, which
funds critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment
and charitable care to local hospitals.

Registration for the event is $32 and can completed by visiting


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