$9,563,016.09

You’ll probably look at that number and think that the nine cents doesn’t make a difference, but oh my goodness does it ever.

Nine cents might be all you get from a person who gives you money while canning in 13 degree weather, but before you know it, those donations of nine cents add up to a dollar. And those dollars? They add up real quick.

This weekend, Penn State students raised $9,563,016.09 for children with pediatric cancer. It’s all part of THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, and it culminates each year in a 46-hour no sleeping, no sitting dance marathon. Dancers, captains, committee members and supporters sacrifice their weekends, feet, and mental states for two straight days and unite to support kids who don’t often get the chance to just be kids. And let me tell you, it is one phenomenal event to be a part of. The money goes to the Four Diamonds Fund, a foundation created by Charles Millard that helps families with diagnosed pediatric cancer pay for hospital bills, so that they don’t have to worry about being able to afford the best care possible for their child. It also helps to fund research to find a cure, so that one day THON won’t have to exist. This weekend I served on a committee called OPP that sets up, cleans up, and tears down for THON weekend, but I also got the privilege to stand in the stands and support my friends as they danced for a cure. They all did an AMAZING job standing for the kids. I am so proud of them!

As hard as everyone tries, it is impossible to capture all of the spirit of THON in pictures, so I’m definitely not going to try to do so in one blog post. I just want to share a few of my favorites from the weekend and give you a tiny window into what THON is all about. If you’re interested and want to know more, check out THON’s website for tons more information! And enjoy a couple of photos from THON 2011: Together Without Limits!

FTK= For the Kids!!

The Navs dancers were AMAZING!After standing for 46 hours, your feet tend to hurt, but standing on pillows can help!
At this point, I was freaking out. We broke last year’s total by over a MILLION dollars. Unbelievably amazing! I am so proud to be a Penn Stater! FTK all day! At this point, I was freaking out. We broke last year’s total by over a MILLION dollars. Unbelievably amazing! I am so proud to be a Penn Stater! FTK all day!

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