The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon — more commonly referred to as THON — began in 1973 and has become one of the most far-reaching organizations on campus. THON has raised more than $136 million since its inception, now solely benefiting Four Diamonds at the Penn State Children’s Hospital.
Running such a large organization takes a lot of manpower. There are 16 committees — each with a director and about 20 captains — that are responsible for all facets of THON, from fundraising to logistics. In total, there are about 16,500 volunteers that make sure the event and everything leading up to it are as smooth as possible.
In addition to committees, student organizations, both Greek and independent, raise money for the Four Diamonds throughout the year leading up to THON weekend. These organizations also nominate the majority of THON’s 700 or so dancers; only a handful of these dancers are unaffiliated with an organization, or considered independent dancer couples. A leading THON fundraiser and tradition, canning will be phased out after the last designated weekend in September, which benefits THON 2018.
THON 2018 is set for February 16-18.