PITTSBURG — People danced noon to dusk to celebrate the children and families helped by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Saturday.

Gorillathon hosted a eight-hour dance marathon with Children’s Miracle Network. Children’s Miracle Network will use the funds raised to help support local families with children who need medical equipment, hearing aids, powerchairs, travel assistance and more.  

Registered participants have raised money for the cause since their registration — beginning in September of last year for some participants. The ongoing fundraiser lasted until the end of the event. Participants were told to use their social media to encourage friends and family to join the fun and donate.  

“The peer to peer fundraising is the reason for our success to raising money,” Gorillathon Director Shelby Bicknell said. “Everyone fundraising makes a big difference as we only have 20 people in our group, it brings us all together.

A Snapshat filter was created just for Gorillathon to share and document the event.

Red bracelets with names of children helped by Children’s Miracle Network were worn by the participants. The participants yelled and waved their arms in the air to show their support for the child when their name is announced.

At the beginning of the event, the Gorillathon committee taught the participants dance moves which they practiced throughout to dance at the end of the event.

Along with music, dancing and fun, the marathon had local families who have been, or are currently, supported by the Children’s Miracle Network. Each family shared their personal story throughout the day.

“We want to help people understand where the money goes,” Children’s Miracle Network Program Director Heather Lesmeister said.

Lesmeister’s son Maddox, was one of the children present at the event. Maddox was born with bilateral hearing loss.

“Insurance does not cover pediatric hearing aids,” Lesmeister said. “Children’s Miracle Network helped Maddox get them.”

The Harper family shared the story of the birth of their triplets. The three girls, Lauren, Addison and Reagan were all born premature at a very low birth weight — one pound 12 ounces, two pounds two ounces and three pounds 11 ounces.

The Children’s Miracle Network helped the Harper family go to Children’s Mercy and provided various kinds of assistance as the girls went in and out of surgery over the years.

“We didn’t have to worry about how we were going to get there,” the triplet’s mother Jayme Harper said. “Because of Children's Miracle Network  we are now a thriving family.

“We really appreciate it.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP.