USC Dance Marathon danced for 12 hours to raise over $1 million at this year’s event.

Ellington Hewitt is a miracle child who comes back to Dance Marathon every year to thank everyone at the event for their donations.

Kendel Davy and Riley Fessenden, Davy’s friend from home who passed away from cancer, posed for a photo while hanging out while Davy lived in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ellington Hewitt and Gabriella Giovannone, two miracle children from the event, hold pom poms in the air with the USC cheerleaders in front of the FTK (For the Kids) letters.

Cocky and Gabriella Giovannone came to the event to dance and raise money for cancer research.

As May graduation approaches for the University of South Carolina, the USC Dance Marathon is just a pleasant memory. But the $1 million the students raised during this the marathon’s 20th anniversary will continue to ease the medical concerns of thousands of children.

USC DM is an annual event where people sign up to dance all day and donate money to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The money goes towards children who have cancer and other disabilities. This year’s event was held on March 5.

One miracle child, Ellington Hewitt, of Columbia has been going to Dance Marathon with her family for about 6 years.

“We see how it’s being put to practice,” Ellington’s mother, Crystal Hewitt, said. “We see where the funds go and how it’s impacting not only Ellington, but every child that has to visit the hospital.”

Hewitt said Ellington loves going to the event, mainly to see one student friend, Kendel Davy, a junior and cheerleader at USC from Boston, Massachusetts.

“We come here every year since she was really little, but she counts down for this day all year,” Hewitt said.

Davy said she loves being the positive influence in these kids’ lives.

“I’m on the family relations committee; I get to hang out with all the kids. It’s really fun,” Davy said.

Not only does Davy love working the event, but it is something she can relate to, since she had a close friend who was affected.

“When I was in high school, I met a 6-year-old girl who had cancer, and she became my best friend,” says Davy. “This is something that I’m passionate about and that I want to be a part of, and when Riley passed away, this became everything to me.”

As a cheerleader for the university, Davy went on stage with some of her teammates to perform and dance for Dance Marathon. The girls brought Ellington and another little girl, Gabriella Giovannone, on stage with them to dance and make them smile.

Cocky, USC popular mascot, also came for a visit to dance and play with the kids.

To learn more about Dance Marathon, go to to find out ways to join or help the cause.