Penn State Athletics set for active role at THON 2015

February 20, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Athletics will be heavily involved with the 43rd IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) held at the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend.

THON's 708 dancers will begin standing at 6 p.m. on Friday and not sit down or sleep until Sunday at 4 p.m. to raise awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

Since 1977, THON has partnered with The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital with one goal in mind: conquering childhood cancer. To date, more than $114 million has been raised by THON. THON raised a record of more than $13.34 million in 2014 with 96 percent of THON's record-breaking funds were donated directly to Four Diamonds. Each year, more than 15,000 Penn State student volunteers dedicate their time to THON, making it the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

Members of Penn State's Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) are active participants in THON, and have run several fund-raising activities once again this year including sending solicitation letters to friends and family, canning at various athletic events, and holding an online auction. SAAB also held a spring welcome back dinner in January and barbeque in the fall to benefit THON. In addition to generating financial support for THON, SAAB also provides emotional support to its THON children, Isabella Messina and Colton Buckley, and their families throughout the year.

Those wishing to assist in SAAB's fund-raising efforts and help a good cause by donating directly to THON can do so by visiting and selecting SAAB as the organization whose name you'd like to donate under.

Three Penn State student-athletes will represent SAAB as dancers: Elyse Archambault (St-Jean-sur-Rich, Quebec) from women's golf and Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania) and Bethany Mink (Allentown, Pennsylvania) from field hockey.

Additionally, Rachel Bove and Alicia Popescu from the Lionettes squad and from Penn State cheerleading Caitlin Clearie, Sarah McEnroe, Michael Valania will be dancing in THON.

In addition to the dancers and several committee members, numerous other student-athletes both attend THON and participate in Student-Athlete Hour and a THON favorite, the Pep Rally. A number of Penn State teams will host families as part of the THON 2015 Explorers Program. The football program will host approximately 30 THON families at the Lasch Building in conjunction with the THON Explorers Program on Saturday.

Check back to for additional coverage of SAAB's participation in THON during the weekend.

Students from the College of Communications will again produce a webcast of THON, available at

For more information about Dance Marathon, please go to  

Last Updated March 13, 2015