Miracle Kid Ryder puts his “guns up” with some of the OSU Cheerleaders.

Gift to benefit Children’s Hospital Foundation and its work to improve the health of children


Oklahoma State University students participating in OKState Dance Marathon raised $134,304.15 for Children’s Hospital Foundation, an affiliate of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event kicked off Sat., Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. and concluded at 10 p.m. Students were up on their feet dancing the entire 12-hour event to raise money to help Oklahoma’s kids.
“If I had to sum up this year’s OKState Dance Marathon into one word, it would definitely have to be historic. We not only had more than 1,500 people register and increased our fundraising by 79%, but we also managed to create a one-of-a-kind event that has outdone anything else at Oklahoma State University. The best part about this year was the team’s dedication to the kids at every point of the journey. With keeping the kids as the main focus through everything, we were able to make history at OSU,” said Chris Stockton, executive director, OKState Dance Marathon.
During the opening ceremonies, students formed a long tunnel for each Miracle Kid to run through. A total of eight Miracle Families, families with children who have received care through programs supported by Children’s Hospital Foundation, attended the event. Activities for the kids ranged from dancing, playing basketball and jumping on giant inflatables to making craft projects.
Attending the event for the first time was Miracle Kid Ryder, 5, from Edmond. His family describes him as “a huge OSU fan.”  Although Ryder has Spina Bifida, nothing slows him down. Throughout the event, Ryder played basketball, interacted with students, blew bubbles and more. Ryder’s parents, Brian and Christy, shared his story with the crowd. They encouraged everyone to stay on their feet and keep dancing. The National Dance Marathon motto is to “stand for kids who can’t” and that is exactly what the students did for Ryder.
“We are grateful for the tremendous passion and energy these OSU students displayed,” stated Kathy McCracken, executive director, Children’s Hospital Foundation. “To see such a commitment and such a genuine spirit of philanthropy was truly inspiring.”
This was Oklahoma State University’s fourth Dance Marathon event. Students helped to raise the money throughout the year by hosting silent auctions, benefit nights, two-stepping events, letter writing campaigns and online fundraising.
Sponsors for the 2015 Dance Marathon included: Integrity Audiology and Hearing Center, Aspen Heights, OSU Student Alumni Association, Keystone Food Service, Dough Pokes, Oklahoma State University Resident’s Hall Association, Stillwater Flats, Renaissance Schools, Whataburger, Edward Jones- Matt Hull, Sudden Link, Oklahoma State University Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, WW Builders Inc., The Odyssey, Oklahoma State University Campus Recreation & Wellness, Madison Miles Media and Oklahoma State University Student Government Association.