STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Hundreds of students taking part in Penn State’s annual dance marathon over the weekend have raised more than $13 million for pediatric cancer research and care.
The Penn State Dance Marathon known as “Thon” began Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College and wound up at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Organizers announced that the 46-hour event billed as the largest student-run philanthropy raised $13,026,653. Last year’s record-breaking tally was $13.34 million. The money will go to the 4 Diamond Fund.
The fund’s mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The fund ensures that all expenses a family incurs are covered, from medical bills to gas and food money and household living expenses.
Thousands of students play a role in planning the event, soliciting donations from motorists and helping more than 700 dancers make it through the grueling weekend. Over 15,000 students volunteers spent 10 months organizing and running the event.
The dancers mingled with patients and their families throughout the weekend, one of the highlights is athletes hour where members of all Penn State teams spend time playing game, signing autographs and having water gun fights with the kids.
Since 1977, students have raised more than $100 million in donations to help young cancer patients and their families through the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
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