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Thon Weekend begins February 17, 2017: 48 hours of fun 

By: Najla King, The Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, nxk5136@psu.edu

THON, which is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, is a year-long annual fundraising effort that benefits children and their families affected by pediatric cancer. All the money raised benefits the Four Diamonds Fund, which is an organization that supports children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

As a student among the 20 Penn State locations, THON, is one of the most recognizable organization, with the most anticipated event. This 46 hour dance marathon at University Park will be held next year, February 17-19.

This academic year, THON is back and the goals are consistent with prior years: exceeding last year’s 9.7 million dollars raised. That means more canning, more fundraising events and most important more families assisted.

During common hour, in room 101 Main, THON meets to discuss the goals of the organization, in the weeks preceding the dance marathon, and answer any questions or concerns pertaining to fundraising, goals, getting acquainted and other general meeting topics.

Each member is required to participate in canning and two other excursions that include going door-to-door within a chosen community and collecting donations, to qualify to participate in the dance-a-THON at University Park.

Also, to keep the momentum going, members are divided into smaller groups and compete against each other to bring in as much cash as they can throughout the weeks. Canning and going door-to-door are some of the major forms of fundraising strategies THON does that helps bring in the most money. This promotes safety as well, so members won’t feel obligated to fundraise or venture into different parts of the city alone.

Fundraising for this season is already underway and during the last THON meeting, officers Derek Osborn (president), Alexis Proctor (vice president), David McDermott (treasurer) and Julie Lenon (secretary) discussed these topics with participants and revealed that so far, over $5,000 has been raised by our campus alone.

The officers took turns in discussing the goals moving forward and how, “this year’s group is shattering previous records of money raised this early,” said President Derek Osborn.

Launa Andrews is a new THON member and she shared her thoughts about the progress so far.

“I always wanted to be a part of THON. At first it was mostly to dance up at U. Park for Thon weekend and experience what that’s like. Now that I’ve attending some meetings and getting more involved in the fundraising part of it, I realize I want to be apart of this organization to raise a ton of money to help these families that are struggling.  You don’t even realize how the money our campus alone is raising can help significantly, let alone all of our campuses,” she said.

As the year progresses and Thon weekend approaches, updates on money raised and families that will be assisted will continue to expand and the Brandywine students of THON will surpass goals and dance until they can’t anymore, at THON, beginning February 17.

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