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Ishan Patel sees no reason to hold back. Apparently, neither do any of the other members of BuckeyeThon.

Instead of tempering their philanthropy goals because of COVID-19 obstacles, BuckeyeThon’s members are setting their fundraising sights higher than ever to raise money and awareness for the Hematology, Oncology and Bone and Marrow Transplant Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to fight pediatric cancer and blood disorders. 

In this, its 20th anniversary as a student organization, BuckeyeThon’s goal is to raise $2 million. In 2019, BuckeyeThon reached its highest fundraising mark with over $1.7 million.

“Children’s hospitals are losing millions of dollars monthly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so now more than ever the kids need us and we can’t slow down,” said Patel, BuckeyeThon president and a senior physics major. “This massive $2 million goal would revolutionize the care children are getting.”

BuckeyeThon has shown its resilience this fall. More than 3,700 students joined the organization this semester and all of them hit the ground running. Recently, in fact, they raised over $233,000 in a single day as part of the Day of Miracles.

“Not having our typical exposure and still raising such an incredible amount of money is really remarkable,” Patel said. “It’s a testament to the excitement of everyone on campus and the excitement of our team members.

“We’ve used everything from small group meetings to virtual meetings to social media to continue to interact with our community. And it’s all leading up to our biggest day, the annual Dance Marathon.”

BuckeyeThon’s full 2020 fundraising number will be unveiled in its annual Dance Marathon. The event will be a 12-hour virtual event on Nov. 21. As part of the marathon, BuckeyeThon will partner with Ohio State’s Esports community for the first Virtual Day of Play, in which gamers compete and raise money as part of the livestreamed marathon.

“It’s a new demographic of Ohio State students we’ve never worked with and we’re excited to see how that grows,” Patel said. “Things may look different this year but we want to make it as big as possible because these kids need us.”

Students walk on campus

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