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Penn State kicks off THON fundraiser for pediatric cancer research

Written by Megan Lello and Craig Layne | Feb 15, 2013 4:00 AM

(Hershey) -- Hundreds of Penn State college students are set to dance for nearly two days straight at the annual "THON" event.  

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The school's 41st annual IFC Panhellenic Dance Marathon kicks off tonight and benefits the Four Diamonds Fund by raising money for pediatric cancer research.

Suzanne Graney is the director of the nonprofit, which is based at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital in Dauphin County, and helps pay for young cancer patients' medical bills. She says the three-day event allows for families of pediatric cancer patients to bond with one another. "THON is such a special time for families to be able to share their stories, to have a sense of community, [and] to feel support. For those families that have lost their children, it's a great time for them to be able to reconnect with all of the special memories, and we hear from families regularly that they feel that their child is still there."

Graney says this year, students are inviting the public to learn THON's annual line dance routine to help break the world record for the largest line dance.

Last year's event raised a record-setting $10.68 million.

THON will wrap up Sunday afternoon at 4pm.

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