42nd annual THON set to 'redefine the possiblities'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — More than 15,000 student volunteers and members from 300-plus participating student organizations will help “redefine the possibilities” this weekend (Feb. 21-23) as part of the 42nd annual Penn State Dance Marathon.

Since 1977, THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, has raised more than $101 million for The Four Diamonds Fund, including a record $12.9 million in 2013.

A year spent fundraising and holding events for Four Diamonds Fund Families culminates in 46 hours of no sitting and no sleeping.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday (Feb. 21) and ends at 4 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 23) with the reveal of the total funds raised.

The more than 700 dancers include people like Penn State Altoona freshman Tiffaney Jarrett, who is dancing in honor of a sister who died from pediatric cancer, four student athletes who will push their bodies beyond their normal limits, and two law students, representing Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law for the first time on the dance floor.

THON 2014 will also see a few changes, including the use of a new digital line management system for visitors to the popular event, held in the Bryce Jordan Center. And while there’s long been an emergency plan in place, it’s also the first year that THON organizers participated in a town-gown-partnered emergency tabletop exercise and evacuation drill.

As in years past, students from the College of Communications will again produce a webcast of THON, available at www.thon.org and psucommedia.com. A one-hour documentary, “Why We Dance: The Story of THON,” will also air Saturday at 10 a.m. on the Big Ten Network.

Visit www.thon.org for more information, to watch the live webcast of the event and to donate "FTK" — For The Kids.

Last Updated February 24, 2014