The University of New Mexico’s largest student-run philanthropy, LoboTHON, is continuing its efforts to raise funds and awareness for UNM’s Children Hospital and its Miracle Kids.

LoboTHON works diligently throughout the year to raise money for UNM’s Children Hospital (UNMCH), the only childrens hospital in New Mexico. Since 2014, LoboTHON has raised more than $447,000 for UNMCH and its Miracle Kids through events like tabling, dance marathons, dine-to-donates, and more.

Miracle Kids are the more than 66,000 UNMCH patients suffering from issues such as terminal illnesses. To be a part of LoboTHON is to be For The Kids (FTK).

“I am incredibly excited to get to hang out with the miracle kiddos more,” said LoboTHON executive director, Gabby O’Keefe. “I joined LoboTHON after attending the Dance Marathon in 2019 and seeing these kids with life threatening illnesses dancing, running, playing, and just being kids… I knew I wanted to work to provide as many resources as possible to help them with their fight and to ensure they have moments where they can just be kids.”

Throughout the pandemic, LoboTHON had to steer through fundraising on an almost completely virtual platform. But this year events are back in-person, and organizers couldn’t be more ready.

"I was the External Director last year as well, when we were initially navigating how to continue to support the UNM Children's Hospital within our virtual constraints, and my focus was on whether we could pull through as an organization and keep the integrity of our mission statement intact during the pandemic,” said Beatrice Nisoli, LoboTHON external director.

According to the LoboTHON website, its purpose is to not only raise awareness and funds for UNMCH but to also unify members of the community who are seeking to give every child a chance to be a Lobo.

“Now that we are able to put on in-person events and aren't as bogged down by online limitations, I am particularly looking forward to seeing how we can push the boundaries with our creativity and innovation. I can't wait to see everyone's excitement about LoboTHON. We've learned to not take for granted the privilege of physically sharing the energy of our Miracle Kids, committee members, and participants," Nisoli continued.

“In general, I am really excited to be back doing in-person events,” Finance Director Kasey Lenning said. “I think we did our best last year under virtual constraints, but it has been so refreshing to be back on campus, talking to students, and spreading awareness about the kiddos at UNM Children’s Hospital.”

This year, LoboTHON has already hosted a drive-in Movie fundraiser, several dine-to-donates, a Carnival of Care to celebrate Child Health Day, and more.

There was a Kendra Scott fundraiser online and in-person. There will also be a golf tournament on Nov. 6 and a soccer competition on Nov. 17 to raise awareness for epilepsy.

LoboTHON’s annual Dance Marathon will take place in March 2022 in the UNM Student Union Building. Utilizing this event as a time to unite as a university and appreciate the efforts made in the past year, LoboTHON celebrates the difference that the UNM community is making in the lives of over 66,000 children and their families through dancing, games, talent shows, and more.

For more information on LoboTHON, volunteer opportunities, and donation opportunities, click here.