THON raises record $12.37M

STATE COLLEGE (AP) – A 46-hour, no-sitting-or-sleeping-allowed dance marathon at Penn State raised more than $12.37 million for pediatric cancer research and care, shattering last year’s record-breaking total by nearly $1.7 million.

The announcement delivered by student organizers to more than 700 dancers and thousands of volunteers, along with cancer patients and their families, concluded the weekend-long IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The event commonly known as “THON” is billed as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Counting Sunday’s total, students have raised more than $100 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital since 1977.

The Jordan Center, which has a seating capacity of 15,200, was filled nearly all weekend. By Sunday morning, university police asked people waiting outside in cold temperatures to return home after doors to the packed arena were closed.

About 15,000 students are involved in year-round fundraising efforts, and about 4,000 volunteers help dancers and put on the show.