The Penn State Interfraternity Council (IFC)/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) rivals football as a staple of the renowned university’s undergraduate experience.
Since 1973, THON has raised more than $80 million dollars. Funds raised by THON go to The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, THON’s sole beneficiary. The fund helps families meet all costs that a pediatric cancer patient may incur that are not covered by insurance. Because of large donors like THON, The Fund is also able to fund research that would benefit children world wide.
THON was started by fraternities and sororities, but has since expanded campus-wide.
The Atlas team is the largest independent THON team on campus. In 2010, its 200 dancers and fundraisers collected more than $380,000 for THON. The Atlas team brings together a mix of talents to fulfill their shared goal.
The Atlas dancers take part in THON’s 46-hour dance marathon, held on the third weekend in February. Other Atlas volunteers participate in THON’s yearlong series of fundraising activities, including “canning weekends” (tin-cupping on other campuses), direct mail campaigns and corporate sponsorships.
The many patients they have come to know and benefit inspire the Atlas team in their whole-hearted, high-spirited endeavor to cure pediatric cancer.