THON News and Blogs

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon — more commonly referred to as THON, is the most ubiquitous event on campus and has been in existence since 1973. It currently benefits the Four Diamonds at the Penn State Children’s Hospital, but earlier marathons raised money for various charitable endeavors, ranging from the American Heart Association to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. THON has raised more than $137,000,000 since its inception.

Running such a large organization takes a lot of manpower. There are sixteen 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 go as smoothly as possible.

In addition to committees, student organizations, both Greek and independent, raise money for the Four Diamonds through canning and other means. There are multiple canning weekends and other fundraising opportunities throughout the school year. It is from these organizations that the majority of the THON dancers are drawn. In 2016, there were 708 dancers, only a handful of which were unaffiliated with any organization.

THON is not limited to THON Weekend, which took place on February 19-21, 2016 in the Bryce Jordan Center. In the leadup to the Dance Marathon, THON organizes events like the THON 5K, the THON Family Carnival, THON Awareness Week and more.

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0 IFC President Calls Emergency THON Meeting

Max Wendkos, president of the Interfraternity Council, sent out an email Saturday urging all leaders of Penn State student organizations to attend an emergency meeting at the Delta Upsilon fraternity house regarding the recent changes made to the THON rulebook.

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0 Four Diamonds Video Explains Roots

The word THON has left the lips of nearly every single Penn State student at least once for the past 37 years. In the same vein, nearly every student and alumni have a general idea of what THON is all about. If you were to survey any one student still awake in a 100 Thomas lecture, he would probably respond with ” it’s the largest student-run philanthropy” or ‘”it’s FTK.” Both correct. But what if you were to ask how it got started, or what exactly the Four Diamonds represent–would they know?


Recently, Onward State got a hold of a new video vignette released by The Four Diamonds Fund. The video, featuring Four Diamonds visionaries Charles and Irma Millard, Tucker Haas, and countless other Four Diamond Families, explains the roots of The Four Diamonds Fund and THON.


You can find out about the history of the Four Diamonds Fund and check out the video after the jump.

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0 More THON 2011 Captains

You may have heard that some new THON Captains were announced for 2011 recently for the Entertainment, Technology, Finance, Merchandise, and PR Committees. A breakdown on the announced captains after the jump.

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0 THON 2011 Overall Chair Announced

Sunday night was one that Kirsten Kelly will not soon forget. At around 11pm, it was announced that she would be the 2011 THON Overall Chairperson. Kelly wanted to be the Overall Chair because, in her words, “I believe in the role THON is playing in the fight against pediatric cancer and want to take THON to the next level. I want to take advantage of the opportunities THON has for growth and improvement so we can provide outstanding emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund.”

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Having spent THON 2010 as the Merchandise Overall Chairperson, Kelly has already played a very important role in THON’s success. She had this to say about how her experiences in the past year will aid her in the next: “[My experiences] have taught me a lot about communication, leadership and what THON needs in the future. The interaction I had with the THON community through that position will be an asset to my year as the Overall Chair. Not to mention I have tons of THON gear to wear after this past year!”


Read the full post for the next steps on the road towards THON 2011.

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