Contact: Jenni Smith or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

Feb. 7, 2003

SMU STUDENTS DANCE TO RAISE MONEY FOR PEDIATRIC AIDS

DALLAS (SMU) -- More than 100 SMU students will be "Dancing to Make a Difference" for 28 hours at Mustang Marathon Feb. 21-22, to raise money for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Bryan's House.

Mustang Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy event on campus, raised $45,000 for the the two organizations last year .

"Bryan's House is thrilled to be associated with Mustang Marathon because the SMU students that put on this high energy event exhibit the exact level of commitment that we all need in order to conquer the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Nancy Gale, Bryan's House executive director. "The children of the Dallas area that are hardest hit by HIV/AIDS are the fortunate recipients of these SMU students' hard work to make Mustang Marathon an overwhelming good time and success."

Each student is raising a minimum of $550 to participate in the dance party that will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, 5990 Airline Rd. The dance party will end at 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, with the total amount of pledges raised announced in the last two hours of the event.

Live bands, karaoke singing, casino-style games, a big screen television and other activities will be available to keep the students on their feet throughout the 28-hour event.

"It gets hard to stay up that long but it makes it worthwhile to know that you are making a difference in so many kids' and families' lives," said SMU student Betsy Killough, a member of Mustang Marathon's executive committee. "It's neat to see students from all over campus working together for one cause."

The Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation is the leading nonprofit worldwide organization dedicated to funding AIDS research affecting children. Founded in 1988 by three mothers, Elizabeth Glaser, Susan DeLaurentis and Susie Zeegen, the mission was to raise money to help researchers find treatments for children infected with HIV and to help reduce the transmission of the disease from mother to child. Since its founding, the foundation has raised $120 million. Glaser, her son and her daughter were all diagnosed as HIV-infected. Glaser died in 1994.

Bryan's House is a Dallas-based organization that provides a refuge for sick children and family-centered support services. Bryan's House offers 24-hour medically managed daytime and overnight child care, as well as child development, play therapy, support groups and other programs including emergency financial assistance to families of sick children. Not a hospice or an orphanage, Bryan's House is a place of compassion and hope, where kids can simply be kids.

About 30 college campuses nationwide host similar dance marathons to raise money for children suffering various illnesses, including AIDS. Recent estimates indicate that more than 2,100 children worldwide are infected with HIV every day, with a total of about 1.4 million children currently infected.


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