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Monday, March 2, 2020

Highlands Grad Helps with UK’s ‘Dance Blue’ Fundraiser, Raises $2M for Pediatric Cancer

UK's DanceBlue dance marathon raises over $2M for pediatric cancer.

By Jessie Eden

Bailey Fessler, a Highlands High School 2016 grad, is celebrating a big win for “DanceBlue”, the pediatric cancer fundraiser for the University of Kentucky. Each year, DanceBlue raises over a million dollars for pediatric cancer research.

Over the weekend, after LOTS of music, dancing and cheering, the event raised a whopping two million dollars with its 24-hour dance marathon.

For the past 14 years, more than $15.3 million has been raised by this student-run fundraiser. The money raised through DanceBlue is donated to the Golden Matrix Fund, established to support the kids of the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic both today and well into the future through an endowment. DanceBlue also helps to provide funds to support research at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

As a freshman, Bailey attended the event to cheer on her friends who were participating in the marathon and she was overwhelmed by the positivity of the event.

 Bailey Fessler and the 2020 DanceBlue Team being recognized before the UK vs Florida game.

As a sophomore, Bailey fundraised all year to earn a spot on the floor for the marathon. After participating as a dancer, Bailey was inspired to apply for the DanceBlue Committee…where she was selected to participate on the Programming Committee.

This year, Bailey had the honor of serving as Programming Chair and in her recent blog, Bailey outlined why DanceBlue is so incredibly important. "The DanceBlue marathon is a very special event for many people. To me, DanceBlue is dancing your heart out through all the pain and exhaustion to bring hope and joy into the lives of those who need it the most. DanceBlue is a time to make new friendships and memories while raising awareness for a noble cause. DanceBlue is when I can step away from my hectic life as a college student and put all my energy into a cause that is bigger than myself.”

Bailey’s mom, Constance, says FTIS helped prep Bailey for such an undertaking. “Her story is a success story of how FTIS prepares their student to be leaders.”

By the end of the event, DanceBlue raised $2,000190.20 to be exact.

Bailey and the 2020 DanceBlue Committee pictured with Ellen Calipari.

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