What is THON you ask. THON is a 46 hour dance marathon benefitting the Four Diamonds Fund and Pediatric Cancer at the Hersey Medical Center. It is the largest college run philanthropy in world. Pretty crazy right. Even crazier is that it is entirely run by the students of Penn State. EVEN crazier then that is that the dancers that give their time, money, etc do not sit for 46 hours! EVEN CRAZIER is that last year THON raised 7.49 million dollars. Students! Crazy ol Penn State students raising 7.4 million!
I know a lot of college’s have something similar, but Penn State is the biggest and the original. The participants are passionate, committed, dedicated, and a hint of insane(in a good way). Honestly if you are bored this weekend and have nothing to do go to THON’s Website and watch the live stream. You’ll see crazy students dancing, hear inspiring stories, watch great local bands in the State College area, and of corse witness the kids that either have cancer or are recovering/in remission just smiling and having fun.
Now, I am not going to lie. When I was in college I wasn’t a huge THON fan. I went canning (begging for money on street corners) with my sorority but my heart wasn’t 100% in THON. Looking back I really wish I would done a little more with the organization. Watching from the outside looking in, it is very impressive the heart that these kids have. How tiny THON originally started as a small dance marathon in 1973 where the Greeks decided to start something to raise money for a Penn State community philanthropy. In the first THON, they raised $2,000 dollars. Now there are over 900 dancers and 15,000 student volunteers.
To read more about the history of THON click HERE
I am very proud of all my friends who gave their 100% to THON. Jac and Val were my 2 Thontastic friends, but they gave their all for that foundation.They continue to try to make it back each year to see the festivities.
If you are in college, I would encourage to try to find out about a local philanthropy that you can participate whether tied to a greek organization or independent it will not only boost your resume but make you feel all warm inside :D
I also want to give one big shout out to Miss Missy from my sorority. She is one of our dancers representing Tri-Sigma at THON. She continues to amaze me everyday. I was one of her Pi Chis(girls that disaffiliate from their sorority for about 2 months to help potential new members choose the best sorority for them and guide them for the terrors of recruitment(we have 19 panhellanic sororities). She then became president soon after….and apparently loved the job so much she did it again the following year. She’s done such a great job with the sorority and THON. Couldn’t be more proud!
THON is an amazing experience and a great cause. There is still time to donate by going here.