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MU Miracle plans fundraisers for new children’s hospital in Macon

The Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital is in downtown Macon.
The Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital is in downtown Macon.

MU Miracle, a student service club that supports Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) through dance marathons and other fundraisers, aims to raise $100,000 for the new Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital in Macon. The facility is part of Navicent Health and is designated a Miracle Hospital by CMN.

As a student organization, MU Miracle raises money for CMNH in various ways.

“MU Miracle hosts different events throughout the year to help fundraise for the hospital, including silent auctions, ‘social media push days’ and other special events,” Jessica Lee, public relations chair, said.

This year, the silent auction included themed baskets and was accessible to donors online. Baskets varied and included Macon Mayhem baskets and Z Beans Coffee baskets.

Meg Oldham, MU Miracle executive assistant, said she reaches out to everyone she knows.

“We also will go through and individually message Facebook friends and family members to give them more info about what we are doing, and often that will result in them wanting to donate,” she said.

Oldham also finds unique ways to raise money on her own.

“One year I did ‘Uber (For the Kids)’ and spent the two weeks before Bearthon spreading the word to everyone I could reach on campus that I would be available as a sober driver.  So I was piling people in my car and hauling them around downtown for two weeks straight at $5 a ride, and I made about $250 doing that,” she said.

Other students’ fundraising methods have included selling poetry and photography services. One member shaved his head for $5,000, Oldham said.

For MU Miracle, the biggest group event is Bearthon. It is an eight-hour event where students, faculty and families from the children’s hospital come together to celebrate and reveal the total amount of money raised for the year.

MU Miracle's goal for this year is to raise $100,000 for the new hospital, which boasts “six neonatal intensive care beds, 21 pediatric critical care beds, four pediatric operating rooms (and) 23 general pediatric beds,” Lee said.

The new hospital opened Feb. 25 with treatments and surgeries beginning the next day, according to a press release.

“Seeing the hospital up and running gives me chills every time. It’s been such a big conversation and this huge idea for so long, and to look at it standing so tall and proud, and know that we were part of it is just a surreal feeling,” Oldham said.

Oldham continues to be proud of MU Miracle.

“We have only been around for four years, and to think that last year we raised over $75,000 for the hospital, and we will only continue to grow, is unreal.”

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