Today is the day we have fundraised for, accomplished crazy challenges for, and posted countless times on social media for. We’re half an hour into the 14-hour long event. Dancers are not allowed to sit the entire time, unless they pay for sitting time.


Hundreds of Auburn students, community members, and alumni are gathered in the Student Center on Auburn University’s campus for one of the biggest philanthropy events at Auburn. Dancers are assigned different colors which they stick with all day to take on team challenges throughout the day.


Aubie helped greet dancers as they walked in this morning.


Dancers can participate in activities from Fundraising Bingo, to Silent Disco, and of course- lots and lots of dancing. The goal for this year is $658,000 for the 658 kids who are treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! 

We are so excited for the next 14 hours! Stay tuned for more blogs to come!


Miracle on the Plains Recap

Miracle on the Plains Recap

Last Wednesday and Thursday, November 8 and 9, was Auburn University Dance Marathon’s Miracle on the Plains, a campus-wide fundraising push. Over the course of two days, there were a variety of challenges staff encouraged fellow Auburn students to participate in.

Some examples of theme hours were “Donut Have a Zero,” where any dancer that got rid of the zero in their donor drive was given a Krispy Kreme donut. Another one was “Slam Dunk Childhood Illness,” where the highest fundraiser during that hour was given courtside tickets to an Auburn Men’s Basketball game as well as a basketball signed by Bruce Pearl.

In addition to the challenges for all of Auburn to participate in, some members of staff got creative and made their own challenges. The idea was to encourage others to donate by promising to do crazy, out of the box challenges once they raised a certain amount. Here are some of our favorites:

The winners of our themed hours are

Reach for the Sky: Tri N’ Beat Us

#WarDMEagle: Lauren Snow

Slam Dunk Childhood Illness: Sara Katherine Parks

Facebook Team Graphic: Kappa Alpha Theta, Tri N’ Beat Us, AUMB

We are so proud of everyone’s hard work during Miracle on the Plains. Thanks to everyone that participated we raised a total of $27,804.52 in just 48 hours. You can register at this link: If you won’t be able to attend, please consider donating at:



Even a Care Bear costume matters

Even a Care Bear costume matters

On October 24th Auburn University Dance Marathon staff participated in a fundraising challenge called Kid for a Day. Every staff member had to dress like a kid and could not take off their costume until they raised $100. The outfits varied from overalls to onesies to superhero costumes. The idea of this day was to remember how different our own childhoods were compared to those of the children we raise money for who spend countless days in the hospital ill. 

One member of morale, Karlee Nipper, dressed up in a pink Care Bear costume. While sitting in Lowder waiting on another staff member, Nipper sat on the floor and counted the money that she had collected in her last class. Nipper passed a jar around her chemistry classroom, encouraged her fellow students to donate to the cause, and collected a total of $77.93 over the course of the day.

A few minutes later an Auburn employee came up to Nipper and said she liked her “pink rabbit suit” and that led to an unforgettable conversation. Nipper thanked the woman and explained to her what AUDM was all about. 

The woman began to open up about her life and the life of her daughter. The woman began to tell Nipper about how she had a daughter who was born with cerebral palsy. The woman went on, saying how lucky she was to have 6 wonderful years with her daughter, and that she “got to be even more of a mother” because her daughter required more care than other children. She told Nipper that her daughter had spent much of her life in a hospital, one that had helped her family so much through such a difficult time. The woman’s daughter passed away. The hospital which her daughter had spent so much of her life in assigned the daughter a memorial number which was the same number as the daughter’s birthday. The daughter’s birthday was 07-07-1993 so the memorial number was 7793.  That number, 7793, was the exact number of the amount of money Nipper had raised that day by asking friends for change, calling relatives, and passing her jar around a chemistry class. When Nipper pointed this out, the woman was quick to say that her daughter must have helped Nipper raise money that day to help children like her.

There was no coincidences in this situation, and it just reiterates that everything Auburn University Dance Marathon does impacts someone in one way or another. Karlee Nipper’s story is a reminder that even the simplest or silliest of fundraising efforts can make a huge impact. Nipper’s Care Bear costume lead to a once in a lifetime conversation and inspires the rest of AUDM to continue to do more!

Here are some pictures of some of our other staff members dressed up as a “Kid for a Day!”

“When I was a Kid” with AUDM President Tiffany Thompson

Welcome to our first in a series of blog posts prompting staff members and dancers to reflect on their own childhoods and look all the way back to their glory days. The idea behind this blog campaign is to remind people how different their childhood was compared to those kids we raise money for who spend days on end in the hospital.

Our first staff member featured is AUDM President, Tiffany Thompson. Enjoy Tiffany’s answers to some serious throwback questions and learn why she is FTK!


What is your favorite childhood memory?

“I loved traveling with my family. We love road-trips and would take one big trip every Summer. Whether it was to the beach or the Grand Canyon, it was always so fun to explore new places with my family.”


What was your favorite food? favorite song? favorite movie?

Food: “Mashed Potatoes for sure. I’ve been a pro at making those since I was little.”

Song: “Honey I’m Home by Shania Twain. She’s my idol and I’ve been singing her songs ever since I could talk.”

Movie: “Cinderella. She will forever and always be my favorite Disney Princess.”


What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?

“I wasn’t very outdoorsy as a kid but I always loved swinging in my backyard, singing at the top of my lungs.”


What do you miss most about being a kid?

“How simple life was. I never had an agenda and didn’t have a care in the world. Life was on my time and I miss that.”


What could you not live without as a kid?

“My Mary Kate & Ashley CD Player. I took that with me on every road trip I went on.”


Are you still a “big kid at heart”?

“Yes, especially with our Miracle Children. It is so easy to forget about responsibilities when you look at the world through the eyes of a child. It’s nice to not take yourself too seriously every now and then.”


What makes you fight for the kids now?

My drive and passion for fighting for the kids stems from watching my best friend Amelia battle cancer not once, but twice. As a 6 year old, I was confused walking into a Children’s Hospital, wondering why my best friend couldn’t leave her room to come play with me. I will never forget that day. Ever since then, I’ve seen her fight like no other, I’ve seen the nurses and doctors who so genuinely care about each and every one of their patients, and I’ve seen her make and lose friends to cancer. I was not meant to have a career in the medical field but I knew I had to give back to the hospitals that saved my best friend and work so hard every day to save another life.”


Upon reflecting on your own childhood, how does it compare to what you think our Miracle Kid’s childhoods are like?

“It absolutely cannot compare to the battles they face every day. I was blessed with good health and I took that for granted. Our Miracle Children are joyful through any circumstance and make the most of every moment. They show me what the word bravery truly means.”



AUDM 2017: A Final Review

It’s been three days since Main Event, and we are still not over the fact that we #FlippedTheFive. Here’s a recount of the best day on the year:


As dancers entered the transformed Student Center for their check-in, the morning of February 11th , they had no clue what the next 14-hours would entail. Tears would be shed, memories would be made, and most of all lives would be changed. After almost a year of anticipation, preparation, and fundraising AUDM staff would finally get the chance to see all their hard work come to life.

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The morning began with staff members running registration tables as participants showed up to receive their color team gear and get their first taste of the day ahead. As the ballroom began to fill with colored AUDM shirts, fanny packs, tutus, and buttons galore the time would soon arrive for Morale’s big entrance.


Leading up to Morale’s entrance, an Auburn-themed, football hype-video was played to pump up the crowd. This jumbotron worthy video was followed by morale members running, jumping, and screaming through the sea of dancers as they took the stage to unveil the 2017 line-dance. Dancers watched in awe as morale seamlessly danced their hearts out to a mash-up of popular hits. Little did these dancers know that by the end of the day they themselves would also master this routine.


Throughout the day, our Miracle Families spoke about how the Children’s Hospital at Midtown and AUDM have impacted their lives. Everyone took to one knee to honor these families. Speeches from parents accompanied by their precious children reminded every one of why they are standing for 14 hours. A large variety of illnesses have affected these families, for example, the Wheelis girl who have Type 1 Diabetes, the adorable Slade triplets who were born premature, and Parker who was born with essentially no brain. All of these children continue to push past their diagnoses and reach for the stars!


In Room 2222 of the Student Center the party never stopped. AUDM’s Silent Disco was once again a huge hit. During this activity, everyone puts on headphones which play the same song. Everyone is jamming out in their heads, singing along, and working up a sweat. Take off your headphones, and you are in a room of lip-syncing and dance moves. Put your headphones back on, and once again you are at the party of the year. This event was offered three times during the day and even the Miracle Children got their own private disco. Black-lights, hightech head-phones, and a disco ball made this activity a fan favorite of many participants.


One of the most exciting parts of AUDM this year was the “Iron Bowl” themed section of the day. The University of Alabama held their Dance Marathon the same day as Auburn so of course we had to have a challenge between the two rivals. The competition was who could raise more in one hour. The cheerleaders, majorettes, Aubie, and even one of the Miracle Children, Parker, took to the stage to pump up the crowd with Auburn cheers. Nothing was sweeter then when everyone found out that Auburn raised $19,060.83 and the University of Alabama came in at $17, 931.01. And of course, is there any other way to celebrate an Auburn victory than with rolling some toilet paper? Of course not! Dancers rolled the ballroom as a victory over Bama for the kids was celebrated.

One of the most exciting, new things at DM this year was the gigantic gong which was struck every time anyone raised $100. Every single time the gong was hit the room was filled with cheers because everyone knew that we were that much closer to the goal.

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The Miracle Children got to show off their talent in the afternoon talent/fashion show. Acts included a piano solo, sing along, and a few dance routines. The fashion show followed as the girls rocked looks from Entourage Boutique.

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One of the most anticipated moments of AUDM is the presentation of the Martin Thiele Award. This is given to someone who embodies Martin’s passion and spirit for this organization. This year’s award was given to Senior, Kasey Rumbarger, who served as the Director of Morale. It was a touching moment as Martin’s family got to give emotional Rumbarger the award. Martin’s girlfriend, Emily Cunningham, fellow Miracle Child, was touched as the award was presented. Cunningham served as a morale member this year and shared her story of her journey with battling her own illness.

Other awards were given out for the highest fundraising for teams and individuals. Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Camp War Eagle, Freshman Leadership Program’s PAL, and individuals Riley Somers and Gage Fenwick were among some of the many recognized for their achievements.


AUDM would not be possible without the support of our sponsor Love’s! This company goes above and beyond for this organization. We are so grateful for their generosity. This year Love’s presented AUDM with a check of $15,000! We cannot begin to thank Love’s enough for all they do to impact our program and help us help these children!


After a day of fundraising, activities, and standing the last hour had finally approached. Rave hour is one of the most beloved portions of the day. The energy of the room is unbelievable as students leave it all on the dance floor awaiting the number reveal around midnight.

Finally, the time had come. Midnight arrived. Staffers’ nerves kicked in as their year of fundraising had all lead up to this very moment and this final number. It was out of everyone’s hands now as they prayed that a number 5 would be flipped, resulting in AUDM hitting their half a million-dollar goal.


Staff members came on stage with the much anticipated, giant signs which they would soon flip to reveal the total. The numbers began to flip and sure enough there was a 5!!! Dancers went crazy as staffers began to sob happy tears knowing what this number meant for the hospital and children. All the hard work had paid off as the grand total of $541,832.06 was flipped. None of this would have been possible without every single staffer, dancer, and donation given. AUDM is over the moon with a new, record total. Raising over half a million dollars is something the program could have only dreamed of!


Here’s to another unbelievable year of Dance Marathon and 14-hours that will never be forgotten.

We can’t wait for AUDM 2018!!! FTK & War Eagle!