Get out your dancing shoes - it's time for the Ohio State Buckeyethon. The 14-hour dance marathon is an annual benefit for Nationwide Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network, organizations that treat children regardless of their ability to pay.

Get out your dancing shoes - it's time for the Ohio State Buckeyethon.

The 14-hour dance marathon is an annual benefit for Nationwide Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network, organizations that treat children regardless of their ability to pay.

Dancing for 14 hours straight may seem like an impossible feat - and that's exactly the point, organizers say. Dancers are encouraged to stay on their feet the entire time so they'll come away with more of an understanding of the physical challenges a child with a terminal illness faces every day.

"We hope that by participating and attending the dance marathon, students will develop a more emotional tie to the cause rather than just donate money and not think about it again," said Buckeyethon spokeswoman Danielle Devery.

To dance, you have to be an Ohio State student. But anyone's welcome to donate to the cause or participate in the event's other activities, like dodgeball tournaments, cornhole, ping-pong and board games.

Buckeyeman, Brutus Buckeye and the OSU cheerleaders are all scheduled to appear, along with families from Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"We invite families to come to the event and tell their stories," Devery said. "That way students can put a face to some of the children they're helping."

About 1,200 dancers are registered for this year's dance party, Devery said. In its nine years, Buckeyethon has raised more than $300,000 for Nationwide Children's Hospital.

In an effort to raise more money, organizers established a fundraising requirement for participants.

"We are hoping that more students will actively fundraise and develop a better appreciation for the event, and not just show up and pay the registration fee," Devery said.

Buckeyethon kicks off at noon on Saturday and runs through 2 a.m. Sunday at Ohio State's Recreation and Physical Activity Center. Visitors are allowed to drop by between noon and 10 p.m.

Evan Tackett is a senior journalism major at Otterbein College.

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