THON Totals Through the Years

The Journey from $2,000 to $13 Million

The 45th Penn State Dance Marathon will take place this weekend, adding to the total of over $137 million raised for pediatric cancer over those 45 years.

In its first year, THON raised $2,136. No one imagined in their wildest dreams that it would eventually become the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

So how did THON get to where it is today? The totals from the past 4.5 decades tell an astonishing tale of how this amazing effort has snowballed year after year.

Photo: Michelle Bixby


1973 – $2,136

The total for THON’s first year was just $2,136—far from the amount of decimal places we’re used to seeing these days.


1977 – $28,685

In just four years, THON’s total had increased by a massive 13 times the original amount.


1987 – $297,311

Ten years later, the THON total had gone well above the quarter million mark.


1997 – $1,528,425

Another ten years down the road, the total was at a staggering 1.5 million. But if the world was impressed then, they were about to have their socks blown off…


2007 – $5,240,385.17

Ten years ago, THON exceeded everyone’s wildest expectation when the total surpassed five million—more than one million dollars higher than the year before it.


2014 – $13,343,517.33

THON 2014 achieved the highest total to date. As if that number isn't impressive enough alone, consider this: it is 6,246 times the amount raised in THON’s first year... WOW.


2016 – $9,770,332.32

The THON total has decreased the past two years (largely due to the cancellation of "canning" weekends). But if this history of numbers proves one thing, it's the ability of the Penn State Community to give all they've got to THON and raise millions more for years to come.


THON 2017 kicks off this Friday, February 17, at 6 p.m. Check out our complete guide to the weekend here.


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