As IUDM has begun its planning for another fantastic year of fundraising, there are countless other dance marathons happening around the nation. Many other universities just held theirs, like Ball State and Iowa State, but the most significant dance marathon in the fight to cure pediatric cancer recently occurred at Penn State.

THON, or the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the nation (IUDM is second). Every February, thousands of students spend 46 hours standing and dancing in Penn State’s basketball arena, the Bryce Jordan Center.

THON, which was founded in 1972, has been paired with the Four Diamonds Fund at Hershey Children’s Hospital since 1977. Support is given to children with cancer and their families, regardless of the financial situation, and additional funds go towards the advancement of cancer research.

This year, THON 2013 took place from February 15th-17th, and the 15,000 students involved raised over $12.37 million dollars. After raising nearly $2 million dollars more than last year, THON reached their $100 million dollar milestone for the Four Diamonds Fund.

To date, IU Dance Marathon has raised over $14 million dollars for the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Our $2.125 million dollars this year was record breaking, and more than 850 dancers took part in dancing the entire 36 hours.

THON has been around for almost 20 years longer than IUDM, and they leave impressive footsteps to follow in. Like IUDM, THON is a physically emotionally, and mentally challenging event, but the reward is continuously great. The students’ yearlong effort is culminated into this incredible event that raises so much money and provides so many miracles for hundreds of kids. THON’s work for pediatric cancer is unparalleled, and it is inspiring, year after year, to see miracles continue to grow from their tireless efforts that are always FTK.


By: Kristi Rose