At West Virginia University, students will be shaking and shimmying the night awayand the morning, too.

WVU ’s Dance Marathon gets under way at 7 p.m. Friday, March 3, in the Mountainlair ballrooms and continues through 1 p.m. Saturday, March 4. About 100 students are expected to try to stay awake and on their feet for 18 hours straight.

The event benefits the WVU Children’s Hospital, the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in West Virginia , which treats more than 7,500 children annually. Physicians and staff provide specialty maternal, infant and pediatric care for the state and surrounding region.

Marathon participants collected donations from individuals and organizations, and aMiracle Cupwill be awarded to the group that raises the most money per student before the event.

The goal behind this is to get students excited about raising money for a good cause,said

Christie Pietrowski, Dance Marathon public relations director and a hospital volunteer.Two families of WVU Children’s Hospital patients will attend and speak about how much it means to them.

There will be a variety of activities, student performances and drawings for T-shirts and other items, she added.

Students may stay as long as they want. Those who would like to check out what’s going on but do not wish to participate in the full event can pay a $5 entrance fee.

A lot of the Greek and other student organizations are taking part,Pietrowski said,and as the word spreads, we know we’ll be able to get more students involved.

To register or for more information, contact Pietrowski, WVU Dance Marathon, 412-302-4395.