THON smashed all previous records Sunday night, when officials announced it had raised $13,343,517.33 for the Four Diamonds Fund.
The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon — THON, as it as known worldwide — is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. It benefits the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, and aims to “conquer pediatric cancer by providing outstanding emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers, and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund,” event organizers said in a statement.
This year, the event’s 42nd, featured more than 700 dancers, all of whom signed up for 46 hours of “no sitting, no sleeping, no kidding.” The dancers entered the university’s Bryce Jordan Center at 6 p.m. Friday, and stayed on their feet until 4 p.m. Sunday. Though bleary-eyed and exhausted by the end, at least one student described the event as “dreamy,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The students dancers and their support teams fundraise throughout the year, and it’s likely that you’ve seen “canners” in you neighborhood before, collecting loose change at various intersections and dancing around to keep warm.
For those who work tirelessly on THON throughout the year, not just one weekend in February, the battle cry is “FTK!” And for the kids, Penn State students have to date raised more than $113 million for pediatric cancer research, The Daily Collegian reported.