Auburn dance marathon raises $356K for children’s hospital in Columbus

Event has contributed $4 million over the past decade

A children’s hospital in Columbus is being built on the feet of Auburn University students.

Saturday’s dance marathon raised $356,036.24 — 30% more than last year — for the upcoming Bill and Olivia Amos Children’s Hospital, Piedmont announced. The event has garnered $4 million since its first fundraiser 13 years ago.

The main event of the marathon was a 12-hour nonstop party filled with performances, activities and — of course — dancing. All of the money raised goes toward the completion of the state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Columbus, which is anticipated to open this fall.

“AUDM is such a special program with these college students working tirelessly throughout the year to help us make a positive difference in every life we touch,” Jessie Brown, Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation Children’s Miracle Network officer, said in a press release. “Hundreds of students came together and not only raised an incredible amount of funds but also showered our Miracle Families with lots of love and support. We can’t wait to see what these students accomplish for our local kids in the years to come.”

The hospital will feature 30 inpatient rooms, a five-bed pediatric intensive care unit, a six-bed intermediate care unit, family centered amenities that range from food pantries filled with community donations to a laundry room and much more.

Isa Cheves Meeks, Cecil Cheves, Bettye Cheves, Olivia Cheves, Blanchard Cheves and Avery Cheves Wolff — surviving members of the hospital namesake’s family (Bill and Olivia Amos) — had one thing to say to Piedmont about the hospital’s construction: “Let’s dream big.”

“Let’s dream of a children’s hospital for Columbus and the surrounding west Georgia and east Alabama area that offers comprehensive and quality healthcare dedicated to our children,” they told the health care provider. “Such a dream is now close to reality. When completed, the new children’s hospital in Columbus will be one more jewel in the crown of excellent health care offered by Piedmont Columbus Regional.

“Our family is pleased to support this effort, and are honored that the children’s hospital will be named after Bill and Olivia Amos, whom we loved dearly and who were the very best parents and grandparents to us.”