By BJ Reyes
If you are not from, did not go to school, or did not otherwise spend any significant amount of time in Pennsylvania, chances are you have no idea what THON is or means.
The event takes place this weekend on the main campus of Penn State University.
For the uninitiated, it's the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, billed as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. It's held every year as a fundraiser for the Four Diamonds Fund, an organization that assists children treated at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and their families. The mission is to "conquer childhood cancer."
The Four Diamonds Fund picks up where insurance leaves off, enabling families to solely focus on care for their child. Assistance from the Four Diamonds Fund ensures counselors, social workers, music therapists and other specialists are available to provide comprehensive care in a family-focused atmosphere.
Although it focuses around a single weekend, the campaign is a year-round effort, engaging more than 15,000 students across the state.
The year culminates with a 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon known as THON Weekend. This event is held at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center each year in the month of February.
In 2013, THON raised a record-breaking $12.37 million and has brought in more than $101 million since 1977.
For a complete guide to the event, check out the The Patriot-News of Harrisburg.