The University of New Mexico's largest student-run philanthropic organization — LoboTHON — has announced its goal for the 2019-2020 academic year. Students are hoping to raise $111,000 this year to donate to UNM Children’s Hospital.

LoboTHON is a philanthropic student organization that started in 2014 as a way to give back to the UNM Children’s Hospital. However, over the years. It has morphed into the largest student-led philanthropic organization on campus and has become a staple to the UNM community.

LoboTHON hosts a series of events throughout the year to reach its fundraising goal. However, their largest fundraising event is the annual 13.1-hour dance marathon that features games, food and miracle stories from children from UNM Hospital who benefit from the fundraiser. LoboTHON’s annual dance marathon is set for March 28 this year, and at this event, students will announce how many donations have been raised for the academic year.

Initially, in 2014, LoboTHON started by setting a goal of $25,000, but in the last year alone, LoboTHON set a goal of $100,000 and was able to surpass that by raising $103,408.42.

“This year is different from last year because our main initiative is to make sure that our community is aware of who they are impacting. With 66,000 children treated annually, there is a high chance that we all either were one or know a child who has been treated at UNM Hospitals,” says LoboTHON Internal Director, Mohammad Assed.  “The money fundraised goes towards the next generation of New Mexicans, and it is crucial that we stick together as a state to support the future.”

All money raised by LoboTHON goes directly to UNM’s Children’s Hospital—specifically a program called Child Life. Child Life is a program that allows children to enjoy their childhood despite their diagnosis. Child Life teaches kids age-appropriate education and preparation to help ease them through their diagnosis and treatments, but also allows kids to focus on having fun like every kid should.

“UNM has the only children’s hospital in New Mexico—and even treats some parts of Colorado. Even with this being the case, UNM Children’s Hospital believes that no matter the situation, every single child deserves to have a childhood despite their illness. The funds that our community raises goes towards making sure those children get their chance to be a Lobo, and making sure they have support every step of the way,” continued Assed.

Donors are able to donate in two different ways. Participants may set up a page as an individual or team and enter into a friendly competition on who can raise the most money. To register, visit Registration, and to look up participants’ or teams’ fundraising page, visit LoboTHON Donation Search. If donors want to donate directly to LoboTHON, visit LoboTHON Donate.