What is THON?
The Penn State Panhellenic Dance Marathon, fondly known by Penn Staters as THON, is the largest student-organized philanthropy in the world. Every February, this fundraising effort – benefitting The Four Diamonds Fund, Conquering Childhood Cancer, at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania – culminates in a forty-six-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon on Penn State’s University Park campus. In 2011, THON raised more than $9.5 million. “For The Kids” or “FTK” is a chant that is often heard to commemorate this event.
What is the Four Diamonds Fund?
Established by Charles and Irma Millard, after the death of their 14-year old son, Christopher, who was diagnosed with cancer, the Fund was named for a story he wrote just before he lost his battle with cancer. In the story, a knight must find the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty, and Strength in order to be released from captivity by an evil sorceress. The four diamonds symbolize the traits Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer.
The Fund offsets the cost of treatment that is not covered by insurance, supports the medical team that cares for the children, and funds pediatric cancer research.
When is THON 2012?
This year THON will take place from February 17 through 19 with the theme of “Brighten Every Journey,” in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus. However, even students who may be far away can show their continued support for this great cause.
The dance marathon will be streaming live all weekend so students can join from anywhere! Information will soon be released on where you can log on to view. If you happen to be in the area at the time, feel free to stop by the Bryce Jordan Center to see the free THON event and cheer on the dancers from the stands starting on Friday, February 17 at 5 p.m. (EST) until Sunday, February 19 at 8 a.m. (EST)!
What is this year’s World Campus goal?
This year’s World Campus goal is to raise $2,600 or more. If $2,600 is raised, World Campus will be entered in a lottery for a chance to have two students dance at the 2013 Dance Marathon. For every $500 raised in addition, World Campus will earn another lottery slot.
How can I contribute?
Visit the THON site to make donations and be sure to select “World Campus” from the drop-down organization list when donating online so that it counts toward the goal. World Campus students can double their contribution “For The Kids” by finding a company to match their donation on the THON site. Donations crediting World Campus will be accepted until Saturday, February 18 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Donations that are not crediting a specific organization are accepted all year long.
In addition, join the Penn State World Campus THON Group by visiting the Facebook page or visit the World Campus chairs’ page on the THON site for more information. Even a small amount of time can make a huge difference in the life of a child.
About Elise Stevens
Working with World Campus student communications as a graduate assistant, I contribute to the Corner of College and Allen blog, social media, emails, and additional communication materials for students. Being a student myself at Penn State, I love being able to learn about the University and share it with other students. Read more about me.