NUDM announced a fundraising total of $1,201,216 for Blessings in a Backpack and the Evanston Community Foundation after more than a year of fundraising. This weekend's event and accompanying social media push comprised the highest grossing donation day of the entire campaign, said Arielle Miller, Dance Marathon executive co-chair.
Blessings in a Backpack, which provides meals to low-income elementary school children who would otherwise go hungry on weekends, received $920,057, the second-largest check NUDM has ever written to a non-profit beneficiary. Evanston Community Foundation, Dance Marathon's secondary beneficiary, received $102,228. Blessings in a Backpack will use funds to work with volunteers to provide resources and support that not only feed students, but contribute to stable futures, according to an NUDM press release.
This year's fundraising total tops last year's total of $1.13 million that benefited Starlight Children's Foundation and funded new hospitals in the Chicago area. Still, the 2016 total did not top 2014's peak total of more than $1.3 million that benefitted Team Joseph – an organization that fights Duchenne muscular dystrophy in young boys.