In 1921, friends of the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley came together as the Riley Memorial Association to remember their friend and create a lasting tribute. They appealed to the people of Indiana to help them raise one million dollars to build a children's hospital. Three years later, in October of 1924, Riley Hospital for Children opened its doors to Indiana's children and families. The renamed Riley Children's Foundation as a leading supporter of the health and well-being of children.
As Indiana's first and only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital for Children has provided hope and healing to children and their families. Because Riley receives no direct state funds, the hospital depends on the generosity of donors to support vital clinical programs and pediatric medical research. Each year Riley serves over 300,000 inpatients and outpatients from across Indiana, the nation, and the world. From simple care associated from health and wellness of children, to the most critically-ill children and medically complex cases, Riley Hospital for Children is the leader for pediatric care in the state and region.
Riley Hospital for Children is also the only Children's Miracle Network Hospital in the state of Indiana, which sets it apart from all other children's hospitals in our state.
Just like the friends of James Whitcomb Riley, Jill Stewart Wiabel established the first Dance Marathon in the state at Indiana University as a way to memorialize the efforts of Ryan White in October of 1991. Dance Marathon is a multi hour fundraising event filled with dancing, music, live bands, crafts, games and fun with participants remaining on their feet the entire time in order to stand for those who can't. Many also feature Riley children and serve as one giant party celebrating the children and their families. Today there are more than 71 other schools that hold Dance Marathons benefiting Riley Hospital for Children including Floyd Central High School.