Counting down to THON: A closer look at the amazing event

UNIVERSITY PARK — It's back.

Break out the neon knee socks, fanny packs and water guns — the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon will soon have Penn State students dancing for a cure — for the kids.

The Bryce Jordan Center, located at the corner of University Drive and Curtin Road, will host the annual public and free 46-hour IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon this weekend. THON brings children and families of the Four Diamonds Fund, volunteers and all others together after months of fundraising efforts.

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world and is committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. According to THON.org, the mission of the dance marathon is “to conquer pediatric cancer by providing emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund.”

Throughout the year, THON focuses on raising funds and awareness for Four Diamonds, a fund that states its mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research.

Since 1977, THON has raised more than $136 million for Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

THON weekend begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, and continues until 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.

All spectators can use the Gate A entrance to access the Bryce Jordan Center. No identification is needed to gain entry.

To provide entertainment to more than 700 dancers from across the university, thousands of volunteers and Four Diamonds families, the weekend includes events and performances from Penn State student-athletes, student groups and Greek Life. One of the most anticipated parts of the weekend, the final four hours, features Family Hour, a time that includes family speeches, recognizing the families who are battling or have battled pediatric cancer and remembering and honoring those children who lost their battles.

Once inside the BJC, spectators can stand in the stands to watch performances that take place on the main stage throughout the weekend. Events throughout the weekend include a pep rally, fashion shows, family speeches and the fundraising total amount reveal.

Outside food and beverages, as well briefcases, large purses and backpacks, are not permitted inside the BJC. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the BJC concession stands throughout the weekend.

Supporters can continue to make donations throughout THON weekend online at ww.thon.org/donate or in-person at the Bryce Jordan Center. Donation stations are located at each gate of the BJC.

Spectators may be denied immediate entry in the event that the BJC reaches its capacity, which has occurred in previous years.

In 2017, THON raised more than $10 million.

IF YOU GO

What: THON 46-hour IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon

When: Friday, Feb. 16, through Sunday, Feb. 18

Where: Bryce Jordan Center

Admission: Free

More info: www.thon.org

 

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