Today I’m taking a break from cupcakes, injuries and gifts to tell you about something pretty awesome. And life-changing. It’s the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON for short - the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, which raises money for pediatric cancer. Year-long efforts to raise money for this organization culminate with a dance marathon where the dancers are required to stand on their feet and stay awake for 46 hours. My sister Christine is a student at Penn State and dedicates a huge effort to this cause.

Each year, the organization continues to break record totals. Last year they raised $7,838,054.36 and this year they are working towards breaking 8 MILLION DOLLARS! Christine has devoted so much time and heart to THON. She has spent countless hours canning for donations and taking every opportunity to spread the word about this amazing effort that has changed so many lives. I’m so proud of my baby sister that I just had to share her efforts with all of you as the event that Christine and so many students like her have worked towards over the last year is approaching in just over a week (Feb 18-20)! I’m going to turn the rest of this post over to Christine so that she can fill you in!

In my short time at Penn State University I have become highly involved in THON, a cause that has changed my life. I am a part of the independent organization ATLAS, which is the top independent organization who raises money for THON each year. We spend all year working on fundraisers and dedicate four weekends to canning to raise money where 100% of the proceeds help pay for cancer treatments for our THON children. ATLAS has single-handedly been able to raise 1 million dollars for THON in 6 years and we do not plan on stopping anytime soon.

What I find so amazing about this philanthropy is how volunteers get to know the THON children on a personal level. ATLAS has two amazing children, Victoria Smith and Claire Brobson, who we have all come to know and love. Our children are both fortunately in remission, however, this does not make us fight any less. There are tons of children that attend THON every year who are currently battling for their lives. Eli Sidler is 14 year-old boy who has been a THON child since 2005 and is now battling cancer for the fourth time! We THON for children like Eli and for all the other children, brothers, sisters, and parents who have been affected by pediatric cancer.

Of course no one can really understand the impact of THON unless you see it for yourself. I included a video to help show everyone a little bit more of how THON can affect people's lives.

There are TONS of videos online, just type THON into YouTube and feel free to browse through them all!

  1. Go to the link provided below.
  2. Enter your personal and financial data as requested on the form.
  3. 3.Under the header “Designation Selection" check off "organizations" and click "Save and Continue"
  4. Under the header “Gift Amount/Designation,” please ensure your donation is being credited to us by choosing “Atlas” from the drop-down box. Once you’ve made this selection, the drop-down box should look similar to the image shown on the right.
    • Complete the remainder of the donation form.
  5. Click the “Submit My Gift” button at the bottom of the page and wait for the confirmation page to load. You’re done. Thank you!


One day we will dance in celebration, until then we will dance for a cure!

So there you go. I can’t help but read through this story and get all teary. I think this is an amazing cause and wanted to give my awesome baby sis a chance to spread the word even further. I’m so proud of her!

My sisters Christine, Kimberly and me before a Penn State football game in 2009

Stay tuned for an update following THON to see how it all came together!ο»Ώ And if you do choose to donate, please be sure to mark it under the ATLAS group, which is the one that Stine Bean is a part of!