Penn State dances to new record

Penn State pride is never greater than it is during THON.

PSU students proved that once again this past weekend as the annual IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon – the world’s largest student-run philanthrophy known as THON – raised a record total of $12.37 million for pediatric cancer research.

The incredible physical and organizational effort, which includes 700 dancers dancing for 46 straight hours at the Bryce Jordan Center, shattered last year’s record-breaking total by nearly $1.7 million.

Including this year’s total, Penn State students have now raised more than $100 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital since 1977.

Nearly 15,000 students are involved with the year-long effort, including 4,000 volunteers who help provide dancers with inspiration and morale boosts during the grueling three-day event.

Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers pledged $10 for every student who came to last Thursday’s game against Iowa. After the student section totaled 1,420, Chambers wrote a check for $14,200.

Many leaders in the university committee stopped by over the weekend to show their support. Among them were football coach Bill O’Brien and Jay Paterno, son of the late Joe Paterno.

“This weekend is the greatest event that happens on any college campus anywhere in the world,” Jay Paterno told the crowd. “Penn State is the students, it’s the pride, it’s what you do for others. That’s what makes us unique. That’s what separates us from every other school in America.”

Penn State Altoona raised more than $100,000. The local campus had about 70 students working on various committees, including 30 captains and six dancers. Last year, Altoona brought in about $87,000, and placed second among commonwealth campuses.

We congratulate Penn State and all involved in this amazing mission.