UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State’s THON broke another record by raising $12.37 million in the fight against childhood cancer. THON has now raised more than $100 million since 1977.
Around 700 student dancers sat down at 4 p.m. Sunday after being on their feet for 46 hours straight. The dance marathon benefits The Four Diamonds Fund that helps children with cancer and their families along with funding the search for a cure.
“It feels great to be a part of something that is a lot bigger than just you. If you look around there`s 15,000 kids in this room dancing for one reason,” said Alex Miller, Penn State Schuylkill dancer.
“First THON, first time dancing, first everything, and it`s been absolutely amazing, way more than what I thought it was going to be,” said Bethany Richards, Penn State Schuylkill dancer.
Students and families who journey through the emotional weekend experience many highs and lows.
For the Deckman’s of Mountain Top. It’s a year to celebrate. They said THON has been a huge help for their family as their son Caleb battled kidney cancer.
“It`s more than just financial support, it`s inspiration, it brings people together that are going through the same things we`ve gone through, so it creates a network of encouragement and hope,” said Michael Deckman of Mountain Top.
“Yeah, it makes me feel great that they`re dancing for all the kids that have cancer,” said Caleb Deckman, cancer survivor.
Many Penn State alumni said seeing THON is an inspiration for all who love the university.
“It gives a lot of strength, especially through the university right now, everything that`s gone on the past couple of years, we just continue to come back, give back and show our support,” said Dustin Kinney of Wyalusing
This year’s total is $1.7 million more than last year’s total of $10.68 million. THON has raised over $100 million since 1977.