Students helped with production of upcoming THON documentary

September 05, 2012

More than 15,000 students take part in Penn State’s annual dance marathon, better known as THON. Students also helped with the production of Penn State Public Broadcasting’s documentary about THON.

“Why We Dance: The Story of THON” is a 60-minute television program that introduces viewers to families battling childhood cancer and follows Penn State student volunteers throughout the year as they plan and carry out logistics for fundraising events and share special experiences with their adopted THON families.

The documentary will air at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 on WPSU-TV and public television stations across Pennsylvania. A live, online stream of the 8 p.m. premiere will be available at, and then posted to Vimeo and YouTube at 9 p.m.

To watch the latest clip from the documentary, click on /video/146758/2013/02/08/video-no-title online.

Torie Grice of Columbia, Pa., a Penn State senior, chaired the mini-THON at Hempfield High School before she came to Penn State. “THON is something I’m really passionate about,” she said. As a production intern, Grice went back to the mini-THON last spring – this time with a camera in hand. “It gave me a different perspective,” she said.

Matt Tolerico of Jermyn, Pa., who graduated in May, was both a dancer in the 2012 THON and a development intern in the early phase of the project, helping brainstorm ideas and going along on fundraising trips. “It was a great learning experience,” he said. “It was great to work on something that I was passionate about.”

THON has raised more than $88 million over the past 40 years. The money goes to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, which provides support for families of children with cancer and cancer research.

For all air dates or more information, click on online.

Penn State Public Broadcasting, licensed to Penn State, produces noncommercial television, radio and online media. Its 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 September 19, 2012