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A Common Misconception: Where Does THON’s Money Go?

Each year, THON raises money for the Four Diamonds Fund, which goes towards paying medical bills and cancer research. That itself is pretty commonly known, but there are still people questioning the exact allocations of each and every penny.

Well, there’s an answer, and it’s called the Four Diamonds Fund annual report.

Although it takes time to get every detail correct and reported (the report for THON 2012 is still not uploaded on the website), you can go inside and take a look at where the money goes.

Yesterday, many were upset about tweets from Sara Ganim, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Penn State alumna, who was, simply, incorrect about the Four Diamonds Fund and where its funds go.


To begin, PSU does not run THON. It is organized by student volunteers. It’s tough to open the books when you don’t have them. The only time Penn State as a school is involved is when receipting donations for taxes, which is done by the Penn State Office of University Development.


Penn State doesn’t show the money, because it is not Penn State’s job to do so. Instead, the Four Diamonds Fund releases a report yearly. It can be viewed here. Those students who have been canning and who wonder can do a simple Google search to find it.


The official title is “The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.” The fund helps those who are treated at Penn State Hershey, but Penn State makes no decisions about where the money is allocated. The Four Diamonds Fund Advisory Board makes those decisions and, each year, the THON Overall is named a member of this board.

In addition to the annual report, THON itself gives everyone a summary of fundraising that can be found here.

For those who are curious or doubtful, 96% of the overall total goes right to the Four Diamonds Fund, while the other 4% is used for THON upkeep and supplies.

Either way, we know that $12.3 million will be helping a ton of families get through their toughest battles thanks to THON and all of those who donated.

About the Author

Maddy Pryor

I'm a 2013 Penn State alum with a B. A. in Public Relations as well as minors in History and Communications Arts and Sciences. I am proudly from Neptune, NJ and talk about it at any opportunity possible. I love college basketball and am a big fan of Penn State Basketball, as well as their official student section, Nittany Nation. I'm a big supporter of Relay For Life of Penn State as well as THON and Coaches vs. Cancer.


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