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A New THON Perspective for Cancer Survivors

by on February 21, 2020 4:12 PM

The largest student-run philanthropy in the world kicks off THON 2020 on Friday at Penn State. Reporter Jamie Burton talks with some special THON participants about the event's impact.

Thousands cheered when the final THON total was revealed last year, more than $10 million raised by Penn State students to help the Four Diamonds and the fight against pediatric cancer.

This weekend, students and spectators are again joining together for the signature event of the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. THON has helped 4,000 families, including current Penn State students Tucker Haas and Robbie Schweitzer in their own fight against cancer.

"This year's pretty cool. It's my first THON as a student and also our first THON together as Penn State students," Haas said. "Being able to see [Schweitzer] dance this year will be pretty special for me as well."

Schweitzer will join more than 700 other students on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center for the 46-hour dance marathon.



THON holds many fundraising events throughout the year. This week students turned out at the HUB-Robeson Center to donate their hair or get their heads shaved in honor of kids who don't have hair because of their cancer treatments.

"I wanted to donate my hair last year. I had to wait the full year and I planned it for this THON because I didn't have enough length," student Erin Malonzo said. "So I donated my hair this year and was like, might as well go all the way and shave it."



In 1992 THON hit a milestone by raising $1 million. The grand total is now more than $157 million. That money provides financial support to families and helps fund cancer research.

To Robbie Schweitzer and Tucker Haas, it's also about having fun. Schweitzer will be on his feet as a dancer for the whole 46 hours while Haas lends a hand as a THON volunteer.

Both have attended more than 15 THONs, but this is one they won't ever forget.

The Centre County Report is produced by students and faculty from Penn State's College of Communications. It is designed to serve a dual purpose. It is a source of news and information to the residents of Centre County.
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