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Ball State University DM Receives National Dance Marathon Merchandise Award

Ball State University Dance Marathon was recently awarded the Merchandise Award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The Merchandise Award recognizes a Dance Marathon program that most successfully utilizes innovative merchandise for spreading awareness, recognition tools for their hospital or sponsors, fundraising, and/or incentivizing participants.

BSUDM had a goal for their 2018-2019 year to make our members feel like they had a say in the things that the organization did and some of the choices that were made. As one way to work toward that goal, they decided to use their merchandise as a way to let members express why they got involved in Dance Marathon.

Beginning in August of 2018, they released a new merchandise item every month that used a quote from someone involved with the organization about why they do Dance Marathon. They used quotes from people on their Executive Board, committee members, dancers, and for the final piece of the collection, they used kids from their local hospital, Riley Hospital for Children. They called this collection “DM Means” and created a variety of merchandise items including one tank top, three t-shirts, one long-sleeve, one crewneck sweatshirt, and one mug.

By putting the members in charge of how merchandise looked, it created a lot of anticipation for every month’s release. By making this decision and creating this apparel line, BSU DM empowered their members and increased fundraising efforts. The DM Means collection help remind their members of their why, why they are fundraising for the kids, why they are creating awareness for kids fighting for their lives.

With some light-hearted and passionate quotes, this collection of merchandise showed their campus and supporters just some of the many different reasons that people get involved in Dance Marathon, while helping to provide various definitions of Dance Marathon.

The DM Means collection started a movement on the Ball State campus and it reignited a passion within Dance Marathon members. The merchandise brought a new light to their organization and Riley kids, and it allowed students to share their passion for Dance Marathon in a creative and unique way.

Members of BSUDM receive the Best Merchandise Award at DMLC 2019.


Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 1991, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $250 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon:

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