February 24, 2020 | By: Carol Lea Spence

LEXINGTON, Ky., — The 24 hours during the University of Kentucky’s DanceBlue will alternately fly by and drag for a team of students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, depending on whether fun or sore feet demand center stage. The student-run marathon begins the evening of Feb. 29 and is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraising for the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment team is made up of Jessica Doolin, natural resources and environmental science; Alli Ellis, agricultural and medical biotechnology; Gracie Furnish, Jenna Harrod, Brenlyn Hoover, Hunter Anne Julian and Connor Richardson, agricultural education. They began fundraising in August 2019 with a goal of $5,000. Relying on email pleas to friends, restaurant nights, sticker sales and family members, they surpassed their goal and raised $5,350.87 for the event.

“It’s pretty exciting to raise that much money,” said Furnish, who had the idea to organize this year’s college team. “We’re just people with different majors and who are involved in all sorts of clubs and organizations who wanted to dance.”

The team is not the only UK CAFE-related group participating in the charitable event. The UK Saddle Seat Team, part of UKAg Equine Programs; Alpha Gamma Rho and FarmHouse fraternities and the professional agricultural sorority Sigma Alpha are also fielding teams during the marathon.

“Even before I came to UK, I’d heard so much about the excitement around DanceBlue, and then when I learned where all the money went, I really wanted to do it for the charity and raise money for the kids,” Furnish said. “We’re all doing it with the end result of raising money for the children. I think it will be cool on the night of the marathon to meet the kids and their families and actually see where the money we raised goes. But I think we’re also all looking forward to the fun, too.”

Supporters are welcome to cheer their teams on. Spectators can enter Memorial Coliseum on the UK campus through the Lexington Avenue entrance beginning at 7 p.m. Feb. 29. People wanting to donate can still contribute to their favorite team through the DanceBlue website.


Gracie Furnish, 859-298-4181

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