My name is Will Martin and I am honored to serve as the Overall Chairperson for the 2013 Penn State IFC/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon. This year, I am anticipating incredible moments of inspiration alongside remarkable milestones reached thanks to the hard work of THON’s dedicated students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and supporters. Through the teamwork and collaboration of the THON community, THON is an enormous success each year. I thank you for the role you play in the fight against pediatric cancer.
In 1973, 39 couples danced for 30 hours in the HUB Student Union Ballroom, raising $2,000. Today, THON is a year-long, student-led fundraising and awareness effort. It culminates each February in a 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon in the Bryce Jordan Center. Moreover, THON is an integral part of the Penn State culture. “FTK” or “For The Kids” is a rallying call that engages more than 15,000 Penn State students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to give of their time, money and selves. Because of the effort of these students, and the support of people like you, THON is able to provide outstanding emotional and financial support to families battling pediatric cancer. To date, THON has raised more than $88 million.
THON helps make it possible for the Four Diamonds Fund, THON’s sole beneficiary, to assist children being treated for cancer and their families at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital through superior care and comprehensive support. The Four Dimonds provides the ability to offset the costs of cancer treatment not covered by insurance. Additionally, the Four Diamonds hires world-class medical specialists as part of its cancer fighting team. Among these staff persons are oncologists, child life specialists, and clinical nutritionists. The Four Diamonds has also established multiple research endowments that impact children across the nation, including a research program that will allow for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, bringing us one step closer to a cure.
This year, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital will enjoy a brand-new, 252,000 square-foot, five-story facility adjacent to Hershey Medical Center. This state-of-the-art hospital will provide children with cutting-edge care, including integrated surgical and hematology/oncology units. It is this type of care provided by outstanding faculty and staff that ranked Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital one of the best in the country for cancer care by the U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital Rankings.
THON garners support from not only the commonwealth of Pennsylvania but from across the country to help raise awareness and funds in an effort to conquering pediatric cancer. With your help, we can give the kids and their families hope that one day we will find a cure to halt cancer in its tracks. Until then, we will continue to dream with our hearts and keep dancing.
For The Kids, For The Fight,
THON 2013 Overall Chairperson