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Penn State THON raises record-breaking $16.9M

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(The Center Square) – Penn State’s annual fundraiser for its pediatric cancer charity broke records for the third year in a row, with students dancing their way to $16.9 million.

The decades-long tradition challenges participants to dance for 48 hours straight, with no sitting or sleeping allowed. The event caps off months of student fundraising to support Four Diamonds, a pediatric cancer fund that covers medical expenses for families at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

In 2023, THON collected more than $15 million for the program. At the time, organizers credited a shift to virtual fundraising amid the COVID-19 pandemic for boosting support.

Since 1977, THON has raised more than $219 million to support more than 4,000 Four Diamonds families. The event attracts celebrity performances and donations, including an appearance by Natasha Benefield and a shoutout from Kim Kardashian.

Last Thursday, Republican Sens. Cris Dush, Wayne Langerholc and Scott Martin designated the week in honor of the event, calling it a “labor of love” that requires “unwavering dedication.”

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