Eighteen years ago, University of Iowa students started a philanthropy event called Dance Marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer patients.
Since then, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa students have gotten in the mix. This year, the three schools combined for an impressive fundraising total.
The student leaders made a presentation to the Iowa Board of Regents today about the success of Dance Marathon 2012.
Together, they raised nearly $1.9 million.
"On the field, we may be rivals, but once a year we come together to give to a cause much greater than us," said Elyse Meardon, a UI senior and executive director of this year's UI Dance Marathon team.
At UI, they had 1,500 dancers, who stayed on their feet for 24 straight hours without the aid of caffeine or sleep. They raised nearly $1.4 million.
UNI, in its first year, had 611 dancers and raised $56,473, which was about four times their goal. ISU students raised $380,742.
"It's emotional power is overwhelming and we can all take pride in the superb commitment these phenomenal students present," Regent Bob Downer said.