Why We THON
The mission of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) is to conquer pediatric cancer through outstanding emotional and financial support to the childrens, families, researchers, and staff of The Four Diamonds Fund located at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world reaching more 15,000 student volunteers across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Since its inception THON is year-long fundraising effort that culminates in a 46-hour no sleeping or sitting dance marathon. THON has raised over $101 million since its inception. THON Weekend will occur February 21-23, 2014 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Over the past six years, the sisters of Gamma Phi Beta and the brothers of Acacia have come together to form one of the most unique organizations at Penn State. Our organization, which we affectionately refer to as “GammAcacia”, has become a family of over three hundred men and women who provided support to Four Diamonds Families in their fight against pediatric cancer. Together, over the past six years, Gamma Phi Beta and ACACIA have donated over $920,000 to the Four Diamonds Fund!
To the members of our organization, THON is so much more than a fundraising competition. THON is family. Our organization stresses the importance of maintaining and enhancing the relationships we have created with our Four Diamond’s families. GammAcacia has been blessed with the opportunity to be paired with four Four Diamonds families, The Jed Smith Family, The Jazmine Cope Family, The Bree Taylor Family, and our newest family members, The Paula Engel-Herbert Family.
Sadly, over the past few years, Jed Smith and Jazmine Cope have both lost their battles with pediatric cancer. Although they are no longer with us, their memories live forever in our hearts and remind us every day why we THON. The Smith’s and the Cope’s continue to be a huge part of GammAcacia, and will remain a part of our family forever.
In 2012, we had the pleasure of welcoming the Bree Taylor family to GammAcacia family! Bre now attends West Chester University and is a constant inspiration to us. We look forward to yet another exciting year with Bree and her family!
Last year, we were honored to welcome the Paula-Engel Herbert family to our GammAcacia Family. Paula is a three-year-old girl from State College, PA who finished her first round of treatment for her cancer last spring. Paula has a five-year-old sister, Emma, a mother, Mandy, and a father, Roman, who is a science professor at Penn State University! We are so excited to be given the opportunity to provide love and support to yet another family and keep our GammAcacia family growing! We cannot wait to spend THON 2014 along side all of our families.
Together we can make a difference in the life of a child!
Make your donation today FOR THE KIDS!
Your Support is Greatly Appreciated
The Four Diamonds Fund provides the ability to offset the costs of cancer treatment not covered by insurance, taking the pressure off the families. Additionally, the Fund hires world-class medical specialists as part of its cancer-fighting team, including child life specialists, and clinical nutritionists. The Fund has also established multiple research endowments that impact children across the nation, including a research program that will allow for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, bringing us one step closer to a cure. It is this type of care and research that has ranked Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital one of the best in the country for cancer care by the U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital Rankings. Thanks to THON’s donors, we are making a difference in the lives of children and families, taking more steps towards a cure! For The Kids!