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Callahan-Williams earns national Children's Miracle Network leadership award

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University of North Georgia (UNG) senior Heather Callahan-Williams is one of 20 honorees selected nationally for the 2019 Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award.

University of North Georgia (UNG) senior Heather Callahan-Williams is one of 20 honorees selected nationally for the 2019 Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award.

Callahan-Williams, who is pursuing a kinesiology degree with an exercise science concentration, was chosen from thousands of graduating seniors from 300 colleges across the United States and Canada who participated in Miracle Network Dance Marathon.

The Kennesaw, Georgia, native was executive director for UNG's first Dance Marathon in 2017-18, when Miracle UNG shattered its goal of $20,000 by raising more than $42,000 for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). That led to UNG earning the Best New Dance Marathon award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July 2018.

She received approval to start Helpful, Optimistic, Positive and Encouraging (HOPE) at UNG her first day of class as a freshman, and students from the group took part in the University of Georgia's Dance Marathon its first two years before bringing Dance Marathon to UNG during its third year in 2017-18. In its fourth year, the group's name changed to Miracle UNG.

Callahan, who is also pursuing a Spanish minor, has personally raised more than $1,800 for CHOA in the past two years. UNG's Dance Marathon has donated more than $95,000 to CHOA in that time span.

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