Penn State's THON raises more than $11 million for pediatric cancer research

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WPVI) -- After nearly two full days on their feet, dancers at Penn State's THON learned how much they raised for pediatric cancer research.

After the dancers were finally allowed to sit at 4 p.m. Sunday, they learned the 46-hour dance marathon raised $11,696,942.38!

The amount raised this year was more than $1 million over last year's total. Before this year's event, officials said the dance marathon had raised more than $168 million since 1977.

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Watch the moment the fundraisin total was revealed after the 2020 THON event concluded on Sunday.

It is the world's largest student-run philanthropic event, raising money for pediatric cancer.

Dancers were not allowed to sleep - or even sit down during the marathon.

Child cancer survivors and their families also participate along with the dancers.

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Penn State students will be pulling all-nighters this weekend.

"I lost one of my childhood best friends to cancer when I was in high school," said Olivia Torres of Mays Landing, New Jersey.

On Friday night, we ran into Laura Bender and her family from Lancaster. In fact, we met Bender family last year.

Unfortunately, their daughter, Kimberly, has had cancer since she was 2 years old and THON has meant the world to them.

"The emotional support that the kids, how they just love our kids and all the kids in Four Diamonds. It's the silver lining," said Bender.

Huntingdon Valley's own Regina Duesler is in charge of this year's event. She says the theme this year is "Journey Together."
"It really represents not only the journey that our families go through when they're diagnosed with cancer but the journey THON has gone through since it was founded 1973," said Duesler. "Now, 40 some years later we're raising over $10 million a year with over 16,000 volunteers."

The money raised benefits pediatric cancer patients and their families at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
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