THON News and Blogs

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.

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0 One Day Only: Pittsburgh To Host THON Canners

In canning weekends past, THON organizations have been prohibited from canning within Pittsburgh city limits. However, this Saturday, January 22, canister solicitations will be permitted in the city.

Pittsburgh law only allows charitable organizations to solicit funds on one day of a calendar year. Saturday marks the only opportunity for canning trips to fundraise within the city for the 2011 year. Check out the full scoop after the jump.

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0 Bands Battle at THON Band Bash to Perform at THON

On Thursday night six bands will fight for a chance to perform during THON 2011. The event will be in Alumni Hall in the HUB, and doors will open at 6:30pm. While admittance is free, donations will be accepted at the door.

The winning act will be determined based on judging by THON Entertainment Captains and crowd response. The winning band will join nine other performers THON weekend in the Bryce Jordan Center for a chance to perform in front of thousands of people.

Find out who’s playing after the jump.

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0 Penn State Basketball Game to Benefit THON

Tonight at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State Men’s Basketball will face off against #16 Illinois in its 3rd of 5 consecutive games against ranked opponents.

In addition to the intrigue that comes with playing a quality opponent, the game has added value in that all student ticket sales will go towards THON.

Tickets are $5. You can purchase on at the HUB today, or at the door tonight. So make sure you bust out your fanny packs, crazy colors and big pink Atlas hat (if you’re lucky enough to have one), and head to the BJC at 9:00 to cheer on the team.

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0 Recap of Sunday’s THON Meeting

In an effort to appease the recent debates about the internal decision making process that is taken by the 15 members of the Penn State Dance Marathon’s Overall Committee, Interfraternity Council President Max Wendkos invited student leaders within THON to meet for a discussion forum last night.


The meeting lasted over two hours and brought together THON leadership and organization presidents to discuss recent decisions made by the overall committee and how they will affect organizations participating in the event.


Read on for a full recap…

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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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