By McCall James
RebelTHON is an annual fundraiser at the University of Mississippi that supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, like the Children’s of Mississippi Hospital in Jackson.
The children’s charity is committed to having 100% of the funds raised stay local to support local kids.
Over 150,000 kids will be admitted to Children’s of Mississippi or its affiliated clinics this year, with an average of 410 admitted every day, according to the RebelTHON website.
The university holds a 12-hour dance marathon benefitting Children’s of Mississippi in February, while each team raises money for the kids.
In 2020, RebelTHON raised $252,571.
Since its start in 2013, RebelTHON has raised over $1,000,000 – all for Children’s of Mississippi Hospital. In the seven years of RebelTHON’s existence, their donations have supported the hospital’s AirCare Flight Team, upgrading patient and family areas, and the $180 million hospital renovations that will alter the state’s medical care for Mississippi children.
Every sorority at the university becomes involved with the fundraiser, and has their own team during the dance marathon, raising as much money as they can for the kids.
Lauren Vanlandingham is a Co-Director of Miricle Family Relations for RebelTHON. She works with the kids from the hospital and their families.
“Being a part of RebelTHON, I’ve loved seeing the impact that my fundraising has on the hospital. The money we raise has allowed more Mississippi families to stay in state to receive treatment versus having to travel the country,” Vanlandingham said. “My involvement with RebelTHON has inspired me to major in healthcare management, so hopefully I can make a similar impact with my future career.”
The fundraising comes from various students, friends, and families, but the dance marathon is the biggest part of RebelTHON.
“I look forward to the 12-hour dance marathon event that RebelTHON puts on every February. It is so fun to see the Miracle Families and the university community come together to celebrate life,” Vanlandingham said.
Olivia Maurer serves on the executive board for RebelTHON. Her position is VP of Internal.
“I first got involved with this position because I saw so many of my sorority sisters taking part in RebelTHON, so I decided to try it. Since then, I have worked my way up to an executive position, and I have loved every second of it,” Maurer said.
“RebelTHON has been so special to me because it really makes you think more about kids who are sick and in need. The amount of money that this fundraiser brings in for the kids is amazing, and has been such a great experience to be involved in.”