THON documentary to air on Big Ten Network on Feb. 12

February 08, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Audiences nationwide will get a behind-the-scenes look at the largest student-run philanthropy in the world when a documentary on Penn State’s IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, better known as THON, debuts on the Big Ten Network this month.

“Why We Dance: The Story of THON,” from Penn State Public Broadcasting (PSPB), will air at 10 p.m. Feb. 12, just days before THON 2013 officially kicks off. 

THON 2013 takes place from Feb. 15 to 17 at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center at University Park.

Each February, thousands of Penn State students take part in THON to help combat pediatric cancer. While many people know that students collect money and dance for 46 hours, few realize how much year-round planning goes into this no-sitting, no-sleeping phenomenon.

The money raised during THON goes to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, paying for specialized care, financial assistance for medical expenses and cancer research.

The 60-minute television program, which began production in September 2010, introduces viewers to Four Diamonds families battling childhood cancer. It also follows Penn State THON student volunteers as they plan and carry out logistics for fundraising events and share special experiences with their adopted Four Diamonds families throughout the year.

When “Why We Dance: The Story of Thon” premiered on PBS stations in September 2012, PSPB pledged to donate $5 for every DVD sold. Last week, PSPB made good on that promise, sending THON a contribution of $5,030.

Since 1977, THON has raised more than $88 million.

"Why We Dance" also will re-air on select public television stations in February throughout Pennsylvania and in New York. For air dates and times and additional information, visit

For more information about THON, visit

Penn State Public Broadcasting, licensed to Penn State, produces noncommercial television, radio and online media. Their public service media programming and complementary outreach materials address important societal issues for Pennsylvania, the nation and the world.









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Last Updated February 08, 2013