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Nittany Lions help raise millions for pediatric cancer research

Penn State Thon

Penn State’s reputation took a significant hit in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but there are still some classy and selfless acts going on at the university.

Case in point: the school’s IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.

The annual dance marathon, run by PSU students, was held this past weekend, and the group raised a record $12.374 million that will aid in the fight against pediatric cancer.  The total broke the mark of $10.68 million set at last year’s event.

As part of the weekend’s festivities, 28 Thon Make-A-Wish children and their families were invited to the Lasch Football Building (don’t even go there, people), where they were hosted by 70 Nittany Lion football players.  The school’s official website wrote that “[h]ead coach Bill O’Brien spoke to the group after it received the facility tour and signed autographs.”  Below is a video clip of the team visiting with the Make-A-Wish kids.


The event, which began Friday evening and featured football players among the more than 700 dancers, benefits the Four Diamonds Fund.  It was also announced Sunday that, with the money raised this weekend, Thon, as the event is known, has brought in more than $100 million to the fund since 1977.

The money is certainly going toward helping those in need as the Patriot-News writes that “[t]t the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Thon has helped build a children’s hospital, pay the expenses for families of pediatric cancer patients and help pay for cutting-edge research into pediatric cancer.”

Well done again, Penn Staters.  Well done.

(Photo credit: Penn State athletics)

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17 Responses to “Nittany Lions help raise millions for pediatric cancer research”
  1. scalpemseminoles says: Feb 17, 2013 10:39 PM

    I cant wait to find out the chairman of this charity was using it to meet little boys and rape them

  2. cometkazie says: Feb 17, 2013 11:05 PM

    Well done, indeed, Penn Staters.

  3. jkulha86 says: Feb 17, 2013 11:20 PM

    Eventually the “rape” jokes are going to get old and played out. Does it make you any better of a person if you continually make jokes about children being raped? When was the last time you’ve actually done some thing to help the needy, or done some thing to make a world a better place? Yeah… go back in your hole.

  4. dmcgrann says: Feb 17, 2013 11:51 PM

    My niece participated. Well done.

  5. cimmy24 says: Feb 18, 2013 12:26 AM


    I’ll tell you where the, now over $101 Million that Penn State has raised for the Four Diamonds Fund goes. It has gone towards the new Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA, annually rated one of the best Children’s Hospital’s in the nation. It has gone towards paying for chemotherapy treatments for families that would otherwise struggle to find ways to make payments, but now can focus on their children. Trust me, I know people that are being helped by the Four Diamonds Fund. It goes towards research in finding a cure for pediatric cancer. If you want to know where the money goes, ask the parents of Charlie Beecher, a THON child whose life was saved in part to the efforts of Penn State. Ask the Emily Whitehead family. Young Emily was unable to attend THON last year because she was extremely ill and her family was unsure if she’d ever make it to another THON again. She was there this year, enjoying THON. So, sir, if you’re wondering where the money goes that us Penn Staters raise, the over $101 Million in total, it goes exactly where we say it does. It’s For the Kids.

  6. mauldawg says: Feb 18, 2013 5:02 AM

    Just trying to cover up hoping people forget how the school covered up child rape. Penn State is a scum school and will do anything to cover up the doings of JS,Pappa Joe and countless others.

  7. thegamecocker says: Feb 18, 2013 8:53 AM

    For the past 10 years, I have witnessed the passion and enthusiasm the Penn State students have shown in this project. Living in NJ, about a 5 hour drive from State College, I’ve witnessed these wonderful kids collecting money at stop lights, in cold, blustery conditions and even in a cold rain in my community. They should be commended and I dear say, so should Penn State University, for advocating projects like this for the good of sick children and mankind. Say what you will about the sick mind that was convicted of the heinous crimes and the alleged coverup. But IMO Penn State University does many times more good things and that’s where I choose to put my focus. One last comment: I am not Joe Paterno fan because he once ran the score up on Rutgers. But PSU is a GREAT UNIVERSITY both academically and athletically.

  8. makeham98 says: Feb 18, 2013 9:32 AM

    Penn Staters have been doing this for years, raising gigantic amounts of money. It doesn’t belong in a Jerry Sandusky story.

  9. mauldawg says: Feb 18, 2013 10:05 AM

    PSU will forever be tied to JS and the cover up crew. Nothing they can do will ever excuse what they did. Try as they might PSU will always be know for what it is, that is PSU first and PSU only. No amount of money will make up for the boys that were raped. You cant sugar coat destroying lives. The more PSU keeps PSU in the news the more harm they do. I know they wont,but they just need to go away.

  10. mancave001 says: Feb 18, 2013 11:32 AM

    And just who is “Penn State,” mauldawg? You make it sound like the community, students, faculty and alumni are all to blame for the actions of Sandusky. You make it sound like there was a conspiracy, which there was not. Not even Spanier and Curly engaged in “covering up.” They simply used terrible judgement, and should pay the price for that due to Sandusky’s actions. Either way, it’s not “Penn State” that’s the problem.

    Oh, and they have THON every year. Moron.

  11. psublueandwhite says: Feb 18, 2013 11:58 AM

    Thanks for writing about this John.

    It always boggled me why THON never received more national media coverage. It is the largest student run philanthropy organization in the world and does a lot of good.

  12. ironman721 says: Feb 18, 2013 12:12 PM

    THON does an outstanding job every single year! A positive article about Penn State, cue all the scumbags to come out from under their rocks and begin talking trash 🚮.

  13. gripless says: Feb 18, 2013 12:46 PM

    mauldawg – You are a piece of shit. Too bad a dog does not mawl you

    Regarding the students, 22 million in 2 years is absolutely amazing. Perhaps as impressive, is these kids filled an arena on Friday and Saturday to support a cause beyond the weekend party. Sandusky sucks and damaged the school but recognize and praise these kids for efforts beyond the call of duty.

    Well done students!

  14. handsofsweed says: Feb 18, 2013 8:35 PM

    Why do you hope that happens? What are you gonna do if/when you find that out, scaplseminoles? You gonna grease it up and rub it out, wishing it was you instead?

    Yeah, you know you are.

  15. alligatorsnapper says: Feb 19, 2013 1:00 PM

    I can personally attest to the great job Hershey Center and the Penn State students through Thon and other activities throughout the year have helped to fund Hershey and help families with children suffering from cancer.

    I have accompanied several children out of more than twenty southernpatriots family of a doctor, nurses, and other volunteers have transported to Hershey. They not only care for the children and families with great compassion and care, but treat the rest of us who just accompanied the children there as if we were royalty. One surgeon offered me a tour of their new pediatric facility and an aid came out asking what we wanted to eat and drink, etc. Coupled with state of the art treatment and care, this patient care is extraordinary. The students and alums of Penn State helped make all this possible.

    I want to personally thank the students and alums of Penn State. I know the doc, nurses, and others in southernpatriots’ family would all be thanking them as well, if they weren’t so busy in Appalachia at this moment.

    Thank you JT for posting this story and reminding me to make a donation. If you can, all posters here could make a donation to Thon to help these kids.

  16. thegamecocker says: Feb 19, 2013 1:05 PM


    Great post! They do a wonderful job and PSU students should be commended for this action. Everyone at that school takes THON very seriously and are proud of the achievement. We are greatful to them for this.

  17. alligatorsnapper says: Feb 19, 2013 4:48 PM

    thegamecocker: Thank you. I had to post something on this blog because my experience with Hershey and what the students and alums have done over the years with Thon is most extraordinary.

    Another incident: The doc from southernpatriots family carried in a little boy suffering from sickle cell and what the doc thought could be cancer as well. The young boy had already been brought by his parents to 3 other hospitals and each said nothing was wrong with the young boy except sickle cell.

    The doc told me they were all wrong and he was going to bring the boy to St. Judes, but they did not have bed space at the time and Hershey welcomed us. The doc said Hershey would take their time and get it right and just as he predicted, they did and found a fast growing tumor, which if left for another week or so the young boy would have died. Doc stayed with the young boy for 3 days until he could find trasportation to bring his parents.

    By the time they arrived, their son was recovering and well on his way to enjoying life for many years to come. Doc took me aside and told me softly that the people at Hershey really cared and weren’t there just to take home a paycheck, and I saw that “up close and personal” many times.

    Doc and family and other volunteers are currently in rural Appalachia. I telephoned his daughter a few minutes ago to check on them and she told me they would be bringing several young children to Hershey later this week and others to Cleveland Clinic. I could not go with southernpatriots this winter, but I have donated to them and to Hershey and will again next week.

    It is truly a great thing the Penn State students and alums have enabled. They are saving lives of children and giving them a quality of life and length of life that was unheard of just a few years ago.

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