The Next Generation of Fundraisers

Kids are taking charge to raise money for their peers.

Marina (center), a patient at Johns Hopkins All Children's, became an honorary cheerleader and helped raise money for the hospital at Sarasota Riverview High’s Dance Marathon.
Published in Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital - Fall 2020

Most kids spend their afternoons and weekends playing sports or texting with their friends. But some young people in the Tampa Bay region are choosing to spend their free time doing something else: raising money for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Dance Marathon

Waleska Lozada, a corporate engagement gift officer for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation, says this spring’s dance marathons at six local elementary schools, high schools and colleges raised $116,997 with over 1,200 participants.

“The dance marathon program supports our patient academics at the hospital,” Lozada says. “It’s just amazing to see these young kids be philanthropists and be really committed to the impact that they’re making.”

Extra Life

In 2019, 390 participants raised $62,367 for the hospital by playing video games — and no, that’s not a typo.

“You commit to gaming for a certain amount of time, and you find people to sponsor you and give you money while you’re playing for that time,” Lozada says.

As the group has grown, so have the number of non-gamers participating. Lozada says some people have done things like knitting on camera for hours.

“The beauty of it is that you can do it from anywhere at any time and live-stream it on your own terms,” Lozada says.

Cross Out Cancer

High school cross country teams put aside their rivalry to work on Cross Out Cancer, which hosts an annual 5K run and walk that is planned for November. Over the past five years, around 300 students have raised $367,000.

“They have really developed into a well-oiled machine that has doubled its donations in five years, which is really cool,” says Deidra Church, senior gift officer in special events.

C&C Lemonade Factory

Caroline and Charlotte Gallagher started a lemonade stand after Caroline finished leukemia treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute. Caroline wanted to raise money to buy toys for her new friends who were still hospitalized. The first year she raised only $50, but by 2019, the two sisters (with some grown-up help) raised $13,000.

“The first year they did it, Caroline was doing it by herself because Charlotte was still an infant. And now Charlotte is off running it from Caroline,” says Julie Riddle, a program engagement gift officer.

The event has grown so big that the 2020 plan was to hold it in Al Lang Stadium; it has been postponed due to COVID-19.

This story first appeared in For the Kids magazine. Visit for more information about getting your child or your school involved in one of next year’s fundraisers.