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Not The Only #THON

Penn State has long touted the passion and commitment of its students to THON in the fight against childhood cancer. That got us thinking: If Penn State lives everywhere (apparently)maybe THON does too.

As it turns out, every Big Ten school has its own annual dance marathon. But not all THONs are created equal.

Raising anywhere from thousands to tens of millions of dollars, one theme remains the same. College students across the nation are capable of coming together for a cause that is bigger than themselves to make an impact in the life of a child.

We broke down each university’s annual dance marathon by its most recent total, length of marathon, founding year, and beneficiary. Here’s how our Big Ten peers compare to the oldest and biggest dance marathon, Penn State’s THON.

The Pennsylvania State University: THON

Raised: $10,045,478.44 (2017)
Length: 46 Hours
Founded: 1973
Beneficiary: Four Diamonds

Indiana University: IUDM

Raised: $4,203,326.23 (2017)
Length: 36 Hours
Founded: 1991
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

University of Iowa: UIDM

Raised: $3,011,015.24 (2018)
Length: 24 Hours
Founded: 1994
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

The Ohio State University: BuckeyeThon

Raised: $1,603,437.49 (2018)
Length: 24 Hours
Founded: 2001
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

Northwestern University: NUDM

Raised: $1,253,596 (2017)
Length: 30 Hours
Founded: 1975
Beneficiary: Cradles to Crayons

Purdue University: PUDM

Raised: $1,125,293.19 (2017)
Length: 18 Hours
Founded: 2005
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

Rutgers University: RUDM

Raised: $1,038,986.13 (2017)
Length: 12 Hours x 2 sessions
Founded: 1999
Beneficiary: Embrace Kids Foundation

University of Maryland: TerpTHON

Raised: $1,001,394.26 (2018)
Length: 12 Hours
Founded: 2010
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

University of Michigan: DMUM

Raised: $510,702.86 (2017)
Length: 24 Hours
Founded: 1997
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

University of Illinois: IlliniThon

Raised: $310,586.17 (2017)
Length: 12 Hours
Founded: 2012
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

University of Nebraska: UNDM

Raised: $173,454.26 (2017)
Length: 12 Hours
Founded: 2002
Beneficiary: Children’s Miracle Network

University of Wisconsin: BadgerThon

Raised: $56,638.41 (2017)
Length: 15 Hours
Founded: 2008
Beneficiary: American Family Children’s Hospital

Michigan State University: SpartyThon

Raised: $30,261.61 (2017)
Length: 10 Hours
Founded: 2010
Beneficiaries: Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network

University of Minnesota: MDM

Raised: $26,741 (2018)
Length: 8 Hours
Founding: Unknown
Beneficiary: Gillette Children’s Hospital

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About the Author

Brent Rice

Brent is a senior majoring in Corporate Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Political Science. Like most Penn Staters, he hails from "Outside of Philadelphia". Contacting Brent may be easiest by waiting at the Phyrst or Local Whiskey on any given night. If all else fails, find him on Twitter @BrentRicePSU

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