World’s Largest Dance Marathon Busts a Record Move Raising $15M for Childhood Cancer

​Sarah Lynn DeCarlo / THON

Students at Penn State University have raised a whopping $15 million during their annual 46-hour ‘no sleeping or sitting’ dance marathon.

It was an all-time record high—and will benefit Four Diamonds, a national nonprofit fund that covers 100% of all medical expenses for families with childhood cancer at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

Dubbed THON, the dance party is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy program, which delivers year-round financial and emotional aid to families dealing with childhood cancer.

THON 2023 marked the 51st year of fundraising for Four Diamonds—a partnership that has paid off since 1977. The nonprofit was founded by Charles and Irma Millard following the passing of their son Christopher to pediatric cancer.

This year, over 707 dancers participated in the organization’s iconic dance marathon that began the evening of Friday Feb. 17 and ran nonstop untill 4:00 p.m. on Sunday—operating with over 16,000 student volunteers.

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Sarah Lynn DeCarlo / THON

Lily Pevoto, Executive Director of THON 2023 said, “To us, ‘For the Kids’ is so much more than just a mantra. It’s the mission that drives us in our relentless pursuit to hope, support, and care for children and families.”

“I would like to thank all those who donated, volunteered, and ultimately joined us in our effort to dance for a cure and continue to make breaking records part of our tradition.”

Over the half century, the partnership has covered all medical expenses, including comprehensive specialty care, for over 4,800 families.

The fundraising efforts have also contributed to the school’s extensive cancer research programs.

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Sarah Lynn DeCarlo / THON

“Together we remain steadfast in our unwavering pursuit to find a cure for all forms of pediatric cancer,” said Suzanne Graney, executive director of Four Diamonds.

“We are always amazed (and) will never stop fundraising, dancing, and fighting for a cure, no matter how long it takes.”

WATCH the inspiring video from THON…

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