Penn State students raise $16.9 million in pediatric cancer funds through Thon


  • Hundreds of Penn State students raised a record-breaking $16.9 million in the annual 46-hour dance marathon, Thon, for pediatric cancer patients.
  • The event is recognized as the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, surpassing last year’s total of $15,006,132.46.
  • The funds raised go towards supporting pediatric cancer patients and their families at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Hundreds of Penn State students have raised more than $16.9 million for pediatric cancer patients in the annual 46-hour dance marathon known as Thon.

The $16,955,683.63 total was announced Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, billed as the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. 

It topped last year’s total of $15,006,132.46.

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Money raised benefits pediatric cancer patients and their families at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Penn State Nittany Lion

The Nittany Lion is seen during Penn State’s annual 46-hour dance marathon known as Thon, which raises money for the Four Diamonds fund benefiting children’s cancer patients and research. (Natalie Kolb/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Child cancer survivors and their families also participate along with the dancers, who are helped by thousands of other students in support roles.

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Officials say the dance marathon, which draws 16,500 volunteers each year, has raised more than $235 million and the fund has helped over 4,800 families over more than a half-century of existence.

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