Students aim to raise $25,000 to support the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UC Irvine Douglas Hospital through UCI Care-a-thon, a 12-hour dance marathon starting at noon Friday, April 23, in Crawford Hall. On pace to be one of the university’s largest student-run philanthropic events, UCI Care-a-thon has secured more than $2,500 for its cause, with another $10,000 pledged by individual donors.

Under the umbrella of UCI Student Alumni Association, the planning committee also has launched a Web site that empowers students to raise money for the NICU in an interactive, secure environment. The committee projects 500-600 students will participate, and each must raise at least $50 to enter.

UCI Care-a-thon will include bands, deejays, free food, giveaways, celebrity appearances and visits from children who have benefited from neonatal intensive care. In recognition of the battles faced by NICU patients and their families, dancers are expected to stay on their feet for the event’s duration without using any boosters such as sugar, caffeine or energy drinks.

“UCI Care-a-thon is a fantastic example of the caliber of students at UCI,” said Manuel Gómez, M.A. ’78, vice chancellor for student affairs. “These students created this initiative with the goal of raising money to help fight infant mortality. UCI students are creative, compassionate and interested in bettering our community.”

UCI Care-a-thon is part of a larger initiative to promote a culture of philanthropy within the student community. Named UCImpact, the initiative educates students about philanthropic opportunities and finds ways for them to partner with the campus on fundraising priorities. The UCImpact partnership includes student organizations, Student Alumni Association and the UCI Alumni Association.

“UCImpact is a tangible means for our students to educate one another about the importance of private support, and to increase philanthropic activities across campus, such as UCI Care-a-thon,” says Jorge E. Ancona, assistant vice chancellor of alumni relations. “Ultimately, the success of UCImpact is not measured in dollars raised, but in the number of students engaged.”

Current UCI students, faculty, staff and alumni can participate in UCI Care-a-thon by registering on the event’s Web site. The event is open to the public with a minimum donation.

About UCI Care-a-thon: UCI Care-a-thon: Dance Cause You Care is a student-led, 12-hour dance marathon that unites students, entertainers, alumni and community friends to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UC Irvine’s Douglas Hospital. Student dancers raise a minimum of $50 to participate in the April 23 event where they are expected to stay on their feet for 12 hours in solidarity with the infants who spend countless hours in the NICU. For more information, visit

About UCI Student Alumni Association: One of more than 300 student organizations at UC Irvine, the UCI Student Alumni Association serves as a bridge between current UCI students and alumni, promoting school spirit and campus  traditions in partnership with the UCI Alumni Association and the Anteater alumni community. SAA is funded by the UCI Alumni Association. For more information, visit

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.9 billion. For more UCI news, visit

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.