Dancing to Defeat Cancer | God's World News

Dancing To Defeat Cancer

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    All occupants of the Bryce Jordan Center do a line dance during the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon on February 21, 2016, in State College, Pennsylvania. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP)
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    Rebecca Hartman dances during the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon on February 17, 2018. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP)
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For the kids! It’s a call heard over and over during an annual dance marathon known as THON. Since 1973, Pennsylvania State University students have raised money for pediatric (child) cancer patients. Last weekend, students and supporters boogied their way to more than $16.9 million!

The Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON, is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. Money raised at THON benefits young cancer patients and their families at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The center treats cancer and performs cutting-edge research.

Penn State students begin raising money for THON at the start of each school year. In February, they gather at the Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in State College, Pennsylvania. They hold a 46-hour dance marathon. No sitting and no sleeping allowed!

Hundreds of dancers keep themselves moving with events involving bubbles, bands, and extra-long conga lines. Everyone, including onlookers in the stands, gets swept up in the excitement.

The total funds raised for 2024 came to a whopping $16,955,683.63! Organizers announced the number Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the party. The amount topped last year’s total of $15,006,132.46.

During this year’s event, about 700 student dancers took the floor. Child cancer survivors and their families participated too. Thousands of other students supported the dancers and kept them on their toes.

Officials say the marathon draws 16,500 volunteers each year. In just over a half-century of dancing, THON has raised more than $235 million and helped over 4,800 families.

THON’s website expresses the feelings surrounding the event: “One day, we will dance in celebration. Until then, we will dance for a cure.”

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. — 1 John 4:7