KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A University of Tennessee student group that raises funds for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is gearing up for its largest fundraising event of the year.

VOLthon is UT Knoxville’s largest student-run philanthropy. The group fundraiser throughout the year for ETCH. Their largest fundraiser of the year is their dance marathon, where they spend 12 hours dancing for the children that cannot. Last year’s event raised over $55,000.

“As of now, we brought in over $2 million in total since we were initiated back in 1995. It’s really just an honor to be able to like, you know, see the students come together and the community come together as a whole and make miracles for people who are local to us,” said Lauren Alexander, President of VOLThon.

The 2023 Dance Marathon is planned for Feb. 18, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The entire day will be filled with fundraising, games, live entertainment and pop-up shops. Children who have been treated at ETCH will also be at the event to join in the fun and share their stories.

“We have live entertainment featuring country artist Peyton Smith, he’ll be performing at 8 p.m. Another fun aspect of the day is that we will have an ice cream date auction at 4 p.m. and UT’s very own Bru McCoy will be joining us to be auctioned off for an ice cream date,” said Alexander.

At the end of the event, the total funds raised since the beginning of the year will be released. These funds help ETCH put on programs for children in their care, buy needed medical equipment and more.

“We rely heavily on the community to support us and this is just one way that students can serve this hospital in this community and we’re so forever grateful for their support. This has been going on for decades. And to me it speaks volumes that are young students who are also in classes every single day or taking time out of their busy schedules to support this hospital and to show how much they love our children,” said Jennifer Lamb, director of development at ETCH.

Lamb went on to say that without support from the community like this fundraiser, ETCH could not offer the services they do. So if you would like to donate, you can visit People can also find out more ways to help the hospital by visiting