Home of Canadian District West Junior Civitan


Comfortable shoes, rhythm and blues, and music to rock around the clock

Why we dance

We dance and we dance "for hours straight" and we do it because it is a rewarding challenge. The Dance-a-Thon is one of Junior Civitan's top annual fund-raising events. Junior Civitan leaders from more than 25 districts throughout Canada and the United States take part, and all the proceeds benefit people with developmental disabilities.

Since bellbottoms

Since 1974 Junior Civitan International and the Junior and adult Civitan clubs of Canada have sponsored the Dance-a-Thon. Dancers are given breaks every hour to rejuvenate with prescribed menus of food and drinks intended to maintain the participants endurance. Also, a mid-point, half-hour break is offered for an extended rest.

Our Center

The Civitan International Research Center is integrated with other facilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham enabling graduate training, family support programs, on-site treatment, and collaborative projects that offer insight into the causes of all types of developmental disabilities.

Our ultimate goal

Junior Civitan International has elected to assist the Civitan International Foundation in its efforts to raise money for the Civitan International Research Center. The Center has earned worldwide recognition for its complete interdisciplinary approach toward treating and preventing numerous developmental disabilities and for its groundbreaking advancements in related research.

The Center has gained enthusiastic acceptance from both the scientific and academic communities and now has more than 300 scientists, clinicians, students, interns, residents, fellows, and staff from across the United States and from around the world representing 40 specialty areas.

The Center's research and accomplishments in a variety of healthcare fields offer help and hope to people in your community and worldwide.

History of the Dance-a-thon

The first Oakville 25 Hour Dance-a-thon was held in March of 1974 as a local Junior Civitan fund-raising event. The first rock around the clock was held at the Oakville Masonic Hall with approximately 25 Oakville Junior Civitan members. Ed Kwast was the Junior Civitan club treasurer at that time and was appointed chair of the first dance-a-thon. This set the club precedence that the Junior Civitan treasurer would also be the dance-a-thon chair. The first dance-a-thon raised approximately $200 in contributions. The event was considered such a success that it was designated an annual project to be held during the March school spring break.

In 1976, Oakville Junior Civitan Marg Campbell was elected District Governor. While attending the Junior Civitan International Training Academy, Marg met Becky Cardell, Junior Civitan Governor of the Georgia District from Marietta. Marg and Becky became good friends, and Marg invited Becky to raise pledges for her District and attend the 1977 Oakville 25 Hour Dance-a-thon. The event was a great success and Becky's participation was the beginning of what was to become a tremendously popular and successful International fund raising event for Junior Civitan.

Because of Marg and Becky's great enthusiasm over the success of their "International" Dance-A-Thon, the event began to grow. With the cooperation of Civitan International, in 1978 an invitation was extended to the various District Miss Junior Civitans to participate in future Oakville 25 Hour Dance-a-thons and Miss Junior Civitan International became the honourary spokesperson for the event.

Over the past 28 years, International attendance has averaged 35-45 United States participants. Various Canadian Junior Civitan clubs also sent representatives, including members of Canadian District East.

In 28 years of the Oakville 25 Hour Dance-a-thon, pledges raised by participants have well exceeded $1.1 million. Many charities have benefited from this event including Children's Hospitals of North America, International Special Olympics and the Civitan International Research Center.

This year's efforts are again designated for the Civitan International Research Center. Many United States and Canadian participants are ready to take on the challenge of rocking around the clock. The Junior Civitan International Board of Directors has set a goal of $60,000 for the event, and we hope this goal is well exceeded.

Together with the Junior Civitan Sno-Do and the Junior Civitan Dance-a-thon, Canadian District West and Civitan International can be very proud of the two largest and best known International fund raisers of the organization. This was all made possible by our great Junior Civitans.

I don't believe any International service organization can match the participation, enthusiasm and success in raising funds for those in need as our own International Junior Civitans.

Effective March 2014, Dance-A-Thon has become an International Junior Event. Host cities will be from all of North America with the first event in the States being in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.