Dancing To Defeat Cancer


Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP

For the kids! It’s a call heard over and over during an annual dance marathon known as THON. Since 1973, Pennsylvania State University students have raised money for pediatric (child) cancer patients. Last weekend, students and supporters boogied their way to more than $16.9 million!

The Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON, is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. Money raised at THON benefits young cancer patients and their families at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The center treats cancer and performs cutting-edge research.

Penn State students begin raising money for THON at the start of each school year. In February, they gather at the Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in State College, Pennsylvania. They hold a 46-hour dance marathon. No sitting and no sleeping allowed!

Hundreds of dancers keep themselves moving with events involving bubbles, bands, and extra-long conga lines. Everyone, including onlookers in the stands, gets swept up in the excitement.

The total funds raised for 2024 came to a whopping $16,955,683.63! Organizers announced the number Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the party. The amount topped last year’s total of $15,006,132.46.