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Penn State’s THON Raises $9.5 Million

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) – It was a record-setting weekend of twisting and shaking at Penn State University this weekend in what’s billed as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world — it’s known simply as THON.

It’s a 46-hour dance marathon and forget about sleeping; these dancers can’t even sit down. The weekend of dancing caps a year-long fundraising effort. 

Last year, THON set a record with $7.8 million. They were hoping to eclipse that number this year — and did they ever — THON raised $9.5 million all to fight pediatric cancer.

Kenny Verbos is a volunteer whose job this weekend was to keep the dancers moving. He says it wasn’t too difficult to keep the dancers motivated.

“A lot of the stories about the families and how much they go through is definitely a good way for always telling them that it’s always for the kids.”

The money raised goes to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State-Hershey Children’s Hospital.

In the three-plus decades of benefitting the fund, organizers say THON’s donated around $80 million.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio

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  • Alan S.

    I agree with all of these comments. My daughter was a dancer four years ago when she was an undergraduate student at University Park. She is in law school now but still works with THON when she has time. Yes, when she was a dancer she was on her feet for 46 hours but for her and for most of these Penn State students this is not a one weekend a year social event. They work hard all year long planning and executing their fund raising activities. They are serious about and dedicated to THON and, more importantly, working with and helping these sick kids and their families. The very least the media can do is to help their efforts by giving them more and better coverage. FOR THE KIDS!!!

  • Karen Gibson

    I have been watching the students standing on the street corners in the bitter cold weather collecting donations for THON. These kids are awesome! Coverage of this Event should be on front page news. I am getting a little tired of hearing about the celebrity drug addicts, Lindsey Lohan and Martin Sheen. Let’s see coverage of the good that people do, especially the young. It might become contagious and inspire others to do more of the same.
    Thank you Penn State Students for doing a great job!

  • Joanne Hughes

    Good Point and good for you to mention it. I knew about it because the daughter of a work friend goes to Penn State and works on the THON. He told me about it this morning. I would think this story would be at least a page or 2. Not just a few lines.

  • Jo Reed

    I was looking on your website for a article on Penn State Thon – you know the one that raised over 9 MILLION dollars this year for pediatric cancer. What do I find?
    Help me here. If all the penn state students stopped studying for 46 hours and drank.. I somehow think it would make the evening news. Why is it that we cover all the bad things our children do, but not the good things. These kids put way more than the 46 hour in that they dance to get that amount of money. And the money isn’t for Penn State – or a bigger stadium or better lab equipment.. It’s for child hood cancer.

    I am ashamed of our news community, that a story like this is not front page. Why not take your news van there. Get a story — a good story, about kids doing good. WHy is it only worth the trip if someone is shot or scandalous actions are mentioned.

    . I think it’s a shame.

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