Section Spotlight

Section Spotlight: Penn State University “THON”

Article written by: Heather ThomasPenn State SWE Thon Banner

School Section: Penn State University

Name of Event: Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance MaraTHON

Event Date: February 20 – 22nd, 2009






The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance MaraTHON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world.  THON is a 46 hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon, in which organizations select dancers to participate. 700 dancers, over 100 captains, over 3,000 committee members, and thousands of spectators fill the Bryce Jordan Center for the event. The Penn State Dance MaraTHON raises money for the Four Diamonds Fund that benefits pediatric cancer at Hershey Medical Center.  This year THON raised $7,490,133.87! Since 1973, over $50 million dollars has been generated for kids with cancer.

Crowd of Participants at Penn State THONPenn State THON Total Amount Raised.






Penn State SWE was very involved with THON this year. We collected money by “canning” over four weekends.  When we “can” we stand on street corners and at business with empty coffee cans collecting donations.  Another form of fundraising is writing letters to family and friends.  Because of the dedication of our members, Penn State SWE raised $22,633.00!

Penn State THON Participant

In addition to fundraising, Penn State SWE “adopt ed” a family.  We were paired with the Aidan Roth family. Aidan (age 14), our THON child, is a cancer survivor.  This was the family’s first time attending THON, and they said it was life changing. They now plan to attend every Dance MaraTHON until “forever.”  SWE stays involved with the Aidan Roth Family year round. We have had them at Penn State and visited them in their town.

Penn State SWE THON Participants

Overall, Penn State Dance MaraTHON is not just a 46 hour event. It is a year round on going effort to end childhood cancer. For now we dance for a cure. One day we will dance in celebration.

For The Kids, FTK!

To learn more or donate, visit

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