What Is Thon Penn State

What Is THON Penn State?

THON, short for Penn State Dance Marathon, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Held annually at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in State College, Pennsylvania, THON raises funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. The event involves a 46-hour non-stop dance marathon, where students, volunteers, and families come together to support the cause.

History of THON Penn State:

THON was first organized in 1973 by a small group of Penn State students. It began as a small dance marathon held in the university’s HUB-Robeson Center, with the goal of raising funds for the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports children battling cancer and their families. Over the years, THON has grown exponentially, becoming a significant part of Penn State’s culture and identity.

In 1977, THON moved to its current venue, the Bryce Jordan Center, to accommodate the increasing number of participants and spectators. Since then, the event has continued to grow, with thousands of students and alumni actively involved in raising funds and participating in various THON-related activities throughout the year.

The Purpose of THON:

The primary goal of THON is to raise funds to support pediatric cancer research and provide financial assistance to families affected by the disease. All proceeds generated by THON go directly to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. This fund covers the cost of treatment, medical care, and other expenses that families may face during their child’s battle with cancer.

THON also aims to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and the challenges faced by those affected. By organizing various events and activities throughout the year, THON encourages dialogue and educates the community about the importance of supporting pediatric cancer research and assisting affected families.

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How Does THON Work?

THON is a year-long effort that culminates in a 46-hour dance marathon. Students and organizations participate in various fundraising activities, such as canning weekends, where they stand at intersections and collect donations from passing motorists. Additionally, THON holds other events like 5K races, benefit concerts, and community outreach programs to raise funds.

The main event, the THON Dance Marathon, takes place over a weekend in February at the Bryce Jordan Center. Participants dance and stand for 46 consecutive hours without sitting or sleeping, symbolizing the physical and emotional challenges faced by children battling cancer. Throughout the event, families affected by pediatric cancer share their stories, providing inspiration and motivation to the dancers and attendees.

During THON, each participating organization is paired with a “THON child,” a pediatric cancer patient who becomes their honorary member. These children and their families are invited to attend the event, giving them an opportunity to enjoy a weekend filled with festivities, support, and hope.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can anyone participate in THON?
A: Yes, THON is open to all Penn State students. However, registration and participation in fundraising activities are required to be a part of the dance marathon.

Q: How can I donate to THON?
A: Donations to THON can be made online through the official THON website. Additionally, you can support fundraising efforts by participating in canning weekends, attending benefit events, or purchasing merchandise.

Q: How much money does THON raise each year?
A: THON has consistently broken fundraising records over the years. In 2020, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, THON raised over $11.6 million.

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Q: Where do the funds raised by THON go?
A: All funds raised by THON go directly to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The Four Diamonds Fund supports research, covers medical costs, and provides financial assistance to families affected by pediatric cancer.

Q: How can I get involved with THON?
A: There are numerous ways to get involved with THON, including joining a Penn State student organization that participates in THON, volunteering at THON events, or becoming a THON committee member.

In conclusion, THON Penn State is a remarkable event that brings together the Penn State community to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research. With its rich history and incredible impact, THON continues to make a difference in the lives of children battling cancer and their families.