THON 2022 is underway at Penn State University

All of the money donated goes to the Four Diamond Fund that helps families battling cancer at Penn State Children's Hospital.
STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- On Friday at 6:00 p.m., the 2022 THON dancers of Penn State University stood up, and the 50th Anniversary of the event got underway.

Until Sunday at 4:00 p.m., the dancers will be on their feet with the goal of donations pouring in from around the world.

They say they're ready, all in the name of fighting pediatric cancer.

"I'm feeling great so far, ready to keep going," said Noah Kiely of Glenolden.

Sarah Baumann of Bethlehem said, "Four Diamonds, Penn State THON, two of the greatest organizations I could ever be a part of."

But they don't do this alone.

THON is a well-oiled machine with tons of support from fellow students on the dance floor and in the stands, which will be packed all weekend.

They'll also have encouragement from those who've directly benefited from their efforts.

Action News met 18-year-old Alex Smith, who beat cancer with the help of THON.

"It's awesome to see everyone back even after COVID. We're defying the odds, and we're going to get back on our feet and fight for a cure," said Smith.

"For the next 46 hours, they're going to stand strong for the kids just like these kids have to when they fight cancer," said Laura Smith, Alex's mom.

Before things kicked off, the dancers arrived at the Bryce Jordan Center through the human tunnel, which is tradition.

But then, shortly after, the party started.

The dancers say they are hopeful everyone will donate at some point this weekend.

Any amount goes a long way.

"Donating is everything. All the money we raise is helping these kids fight cancer, finding research and donating is how we can do our part to help," said Elizabeth Czekaj of State College.

Faith Busanic of Downingtown added, "This is such an amazing opportunity to get involved and raise money for children and families impacted by childhood cancer. So Delco, Chester County, let's donate to THON!"

All of the money donated goes to the Four Diamond Fund. The fund helps families battling cancer at Penn State Children's Hospital by paying any amount of costs that insurance doesn't.

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