UGA MIRACLE IN THE PRESS
"UGA Miracle's Dance Marathon raising thousands of dollars for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta" Athens Banner-Herald
“We’re all lucky enough to have people in our lives who stand in our corner, who believe in us and provide for us when we can’t do it on our own,” he [Garrahan] said. “If I can be one of those people, if I can stand in someone’s corner in their time of need like so many have done for me, then I’m going to take that opportunity, and that’s what UGA Miracle is all about.”
For this year's event, student leaders set a goal to raise $610,000, a nearly 20 percent increase over 2014's record-setting total of $507,203. For the reveal, children lined up across the stage, each holding a large square card with a number written on the back. The entire room's focus was on the stage as each child held his or her number up. When the last child on the left held the six high in the air, the entire room burst into cheers and tears-they had surpassed their goal by more than 12 percent.
"I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret," said Ryan Garrahan, executive director of UGA Miracle. "That first number didn't change to a five until Friday. The people in this room raised more than $100,000 in the past day!"
The $507,203 check the student charity presented to Children’s Healthcare Sunday morning blew away the old record for UGA Miracle, set just last year at $346,000.
“It’s given me so much purpose for my time where, something where I can serve others in a way I would not have had the opportunity for otherwise,” Baker said.
He’s also been changed by meeting some of the children and families that benefit from the money they raise.
“They have such an extreme faith and perseverance,” he said. “Despite all that they go through, they are some of the happiest people I know. They never seem to ask themselves, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ but just accept these challenges and ... don’t let it stop them from living their lives. I’ve taken that to heart.”
“This year’s dance marathon was by far the most successful,” said Brian Baker, the executive director of UGA Miracle. “It truly is a testament of the miracle makers that we have on our team. I told the executive board before the marathon beforehand, ‘No matter what the number that we reveal, we know that this year was a success.”
UGA Miracle raised $507,203 during the 24-hour marathon on Feb. 22 to 23. Proceeds from the marathon benefit the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s (CHOA) Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. The Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) is CHOA’s department that focuses on helping patients’ needs after a traumatic and life-changing injury or illness, such as cardiac complications, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. The division offers a range of rehabilitative services including physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology and music therapy.