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THON In The News

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 20:27
By Gabriella Santoliquito With “hope in every stride,” hundreds raced for the kids Saturday afternoon. The Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon committees brought together Four Diamonds families and THON organizations and committees for a day of running, games and THON spirit during the 13th annual THON FT5K. Participants of all ages, dressed in bright colors, tutus and THON paraphernalia, lined the streets along the Bryce Jordan Center and throughout campus after having the opportunity to compete in either a “competitive run” or “fun run” 5K. After reaching the finish line outside of the BJC, many said they enjoyed the great vibes and motivation that not only their fellow organizations and families gave, but the different THON committees expressed as well. “My [organization] encouraged me to go faster and keep going,” Aaron Clouser said. Clouser, a part of the THON organization Boulevard’s Four Diamonds family, said he liked being able to see his entire organization on Saturday and exercise to help fight for children with cancer. Smiles gleamed from ear to ear as Four Diamonds children decorated cookies, drew pictures and played different sports games with Penn State students. Beta Sigma Beta and Kappa Delta’s Four Diamonds family members, Greg and Amy Creasy, both said this is their second THON FT5K. They said they enjoy coming to Penn State to see the kids play and catch up with Penn State students after staying in touch with each other prior to the 5K. Four Diamond’s child Brittany Wagner said her favorite part about being able to come to her first THON FT5K was dressing up “just like THON.” Wagner’s father, Bob Wagner, said he enjoyed being able to see his family’s sponsor, the Penn State Club Water Polo team, and spending time with them for a great day at his first THON FT5K. Brittany Wagner said she enjoys THON and the special events leading up to the 46-hour dance marathon in February because of all of the love she feels from everybody who is involved. Penn State is “definitely” a great place to be, she said. “Everybody is always all so nice to me and they all care about me,” she said. Though THON is still a few months away, many students said they were still illustrating their THON spirit while dancing, singing and taking part in last year’s line dance outside of the BJC. As someone who is very involved with THON at the Penn State Berks campus, Penn State alumna Alexa Wojciechowski said she enjoyed being able to visit University Park for the 5K because she can see the students evolve as they work with the Four Diamonds families. “It’s absolutely incredible to watch students grow as they learn and work with the kids and the whole [THON] process,” Wojciechowski said. Looking at all of the kids playing with the different organizations and all of the families who were at the 5K, Wojciechowski said she believes the THON FT5K is absolutely more than “just a run.”
Fri, 01/10/2014 - 00:36
As he made his way through the street lined with zealous onlookers and cheering fans that led to the main dance floor inside the Bryce Jordan Center, it wasn’t only the encouraging yells from the student body that led Penn State University senior Dan Bitner to press forward—it was his sense of devotion to the cause. In 2012, Bitner was one of the 700 student dancers among the 15,000 student volunteers who helped raise more than US$10.6 million for charity through the 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping Penn State InterFraternity Council (IFC)/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, dubbed THON.
Sun, 01/05/2014 - 04:37
If you see people standing at intersections or storefronts holding enormous cans and signs, dancing and smiling at you, don't be alarmed. It's a THON "canning" weekend. This weekend was the second of three canning weekends scheduled this year held in conjunction with Penn State's annual Dance Marathon, commonly known as THON. Some 10,000 Penn State students scatter throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland to collect money for the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, which benefits the Four Diamonds Fund. The fund supports research and provides emotional and financial support to families going through battles with pediatric cancer at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
Fri, 01/03/2014 - 00:17
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - It was a big day of celebration at Penn State Sunday as the 18th annual THON Family Carnival got underway. Hundreds of Penn State students and Four Diamonds families visited the university's main campus for the festivities. "It's just a warm up of good things to come," Tim Hamman, of Petersburg, said. It's a day Tim Hamman's son, Clay, always looks forward to. "They've been there for us from day one and we met a lot of good people," Tim said. "Clay gets to do a lot of positive things." Clay was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2005. Three months after treatment, a routine CAT Scan found another tumor, this time, on his right lung. Now, he's a two-time survivor.
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 18:32
UNIVERSITY PARK — It was another record-setting year for the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. Thon raised $12,374,034.46, shattering last year's total of $10.69 million, for the Four Diamonds Fund. The total was revealed Sunday afternoon at the close of the 46-hour marathon, which has now raised more than $100 million for pediatric cancer patients and their families. “I feel like it really still hasn’t sunk in,” Thon overall finance chairwoman Jen Stipa said. “I was expecting that we would have a successful fundraising year, but when we calculated it, it was a surprise, I think, to all of us.” This is the second consecutive year Thon has raised an eight-figure total. The more than $100 million overall helps to take care of patients’ medical bills and fund research toward finding a cure, Four Diamonds Fund Director Suzanne Graney said.
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 18:27
I was driving my daughter home from college last year when we stopped at Penn State to visit a couple of her friends. I treated them to breakfast when they urged me to do a story on Thon. What? With passion and excitement, they told me about Thon — the world’s largest student-run charity, which is like a dance-a-thon, pep rally, rock concert and tent revival all in one. For 41 years, the students at Penn State — a university known more for its troubles than its triumphs in recent years — have raised tens of millions for pediatric cancer research and family care. They have raised so much — more than $101 million — that they have even financed a wing at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 18:25
For the first time in the Penn State Dance Marathon’s 41-year history, pediatric cancer awareness supporters across the world can participate in the weekend celebration through “Dance With Us,” a globally-coordinated line dance. At 6:45 p.m., Penn State students, alumni and pediatric cancer fighters across the world can take part in “Dance With Us” by tuning into THON 2013 via Live Stream video on THON’s Facebook page.
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 18:20
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - February 9, 2013 (WPVI) -- Bend at the knees, then jump and reach for the ceiling with arms extended. Repeat as a catchy song echoes through the gym. The 30-minute fitness class for Penn State dance marathon participants was a just a tiny preview of the grueling 46-hour event for charity that starts Friday. The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is billed as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. For the first time, workouts were offered for the more than 700 participants, as well as the army of volunteers, to get in shape for the annual epic affair. "It's going to be one of the hardest things I'll do in my life," said junior Briana Marshall, a dancer. Two-steppers are urged to lay off caffeine and alcohol, and to get eight hours of sleep a night.
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:58
It’s a good thing when college students become acquainted with fundraising while they’re still in school, because they’ll be on the other end of the equation come graduation. (Alumni associations, anyone?) But when they put their minds to it, college students can be a fundraising force to be reckoned with, one that can pull off entertaining events and bring in huge piles of cash for fighting cancer, bullying, and any other worthy causes. These 10 colleges host the biggest bank-breaking fundraisers in the country.
Sat, 12/29/2012 - 16:48
UNIVERSITY PARK, PENN STATE - Each year, Penn State hosts THON, a dance marathon dedicated to raise money for children and their families affected by cancer. This year, there are close to 300 families participating in THON and Sunday, 94 of them were out on Penn State's University Park campus for a day full of fun and relaxation. If a smile says it all, then these kids and their families have spoken. "We come back for the people," Elaine Fazekas said. Year after year, Elaine and her husband travel two hours to Penn State's University Park campus.