THON 2013

I finally went to my first THON event. What is THON, you ask? It’s the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Students raise money for The Four Diamonds Fund, which aims to fight cancer through research and care for patients at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. THON is an event that goes on for 46 hours non-stop filled with dancing, singing, playing, and celebrating in the Bryce Jordan Center.

It all started with a 14-year-old boy named Christopher Millard. He was diagnosed with cancer, and for a story he needed to write for school, he wrote about a knight who must find the four diamonds that represent courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength in order to be released from captivity by an evil sorceress. These Four Diamonds symbolize the traits Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer. Unfortunately, he passed away, but his story lives on as his parents started The Four Diamonds Fund that’s been helping thousands of families.

On THON’s first year in 1973, students were able to earn $2,136. Yesterday, they earned $12,374,034.46 breaking last year’s record of 10 million. In total, THON was able to raise $101,429,114.88 since the beginning. I was able to spend 7 hours in THON learning how to dance the line dance, and cheering our dancers on. Everybody was filled with spirit and energy, and I couldn’t be happier to be a Penn Stater. The Bryce Jordan Center was over capacity by 6am in the morning on Sunday and the line outside stretched for over two blocks. When we say, “We are PENN STATE!” this is what we are talking about.


When cancer is cured, we will dance for joy. Until then, we will dance for life.
When cancer is cured, we will dance for joy. Until then, we will dance for life. (Photo by
We are a part of something bigger and we are a part of it together. (Photo by
For The Kids! (Photo by
We THON so that every cub can grow up to be a Nittany Lion. (Photo by me)

I can’t wait for next year’s THON!

– P


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