THON, which is short for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, is a year-long effort which raises funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. With the support of students from all across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Alumni all around the world, we continue to make great strides towards finding a cure for all childhood cancers. Our efforts culminate with a two day, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon during the third weekend in February.
While THON is considered to be a year-long effort that includes a 5K Run/Walk, Family Carnival, and other events, the actual two-day dance marathon will be held February 21-23, 2014 in the Bryce Jordan Center.
The slogan of the Penn State Dance Marathon is “For The Kids” or “FTK.” Since 1977, THON has has been partnered with the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital with one goal in mind: conquering childhood cancer.
The Four Diamonds Fund is THON's sole beneficiary. The Four Diamonds was established by Charles and Irma Millard after the death of their son, Christopher, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 11. Because of THON’s support, The Fund is able to offset the cost of treatment that a family’s insurance won’t cover, as well as provide for other expenses that may affect the welfare of the child. The Four Diamonds also supports the medical team that cares for the children and funds innovative pediatric cancer research through start-up grants and the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Institute. Click here to visit the Four Diamonds Fund's webpage.
The Four Diamonds Fund is named after a story that Christopher Millard wrote shortly before he lost his battle with cancer at the age of 14. In Chris’ story, a knight must find the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength in order to be released from captivity by an evil sorceress. The Four Diamonds are symbolic of the traits Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer.
Official THON merchandise can be purchased through our online THON Store at https://store.thon.psu.edu/.