The Carolina community is gearing up for the annual UNC Dance Marathon, which kicks off Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Fetzer Gym and runs through Saturday. Through the years, the event has raised more than $3.3 million for patients and families of the N.C. Children’s Hospital.

During the 24-hour action packed affair, students will dance for fun and to keep from falling asleep, with the goal of never sitting down.

UNC-DM Executive Director, Liz Goslin, joined WCHL’s Aaron Keck this week. For the past 16 years, the event has grown bigger and bigger, and and Goslin hopes that this year’s marathon will break more records.

“In terms of the size, we have more than 2,000 student dancers signed up, so those are the students who are standing for 24 hours. We also have probably close to 300 to 400 student volunteers who come in for a shorter shift. We have 350 committee members who have been working on this year-round. It really is a team effort of Carolina students, and it really is fun to see it all,” Goslin said.

The dancers, who commit to participating in all 24 hours of UNC-DM, are divided into teams. To keep them from sitting down, each team of dancers has “Kid Co-Captains,” as well as motivators and other volunteers who will take turns cheering them on.

But Goslin said the commitment to the cause doesn’t end after the 24-hours of dancing are over. UNC-DM volunteers also work year-round to raise funds for the N.C. Children’s Hospital.

“We have a variety of programs that we fund. Our staple grant is the For the Kids Fund, which covers costs that won’t necessarily be met by insurance. We also have another grant that I love which is called Parents’ Night Out, which is a weekly dinner that UNC Dance Marathon Volunteers actually serve in the hospital. It is really nice to be able to directly interact with them. In addition, each year we fund about 10 to15 grants that we select as a group,” Goslin said.

For more information on how community members can get involved, click here.