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Despite drastic advancements in treatment and therapies, pediatric cancer continues to take the lives of more children than any other disease in the United States. Empowered by the children and families affected by this disease, Penn State students are taking action in the fight against childhood cancer.

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately known as THON, is a year-long fundraising and awareness campaign with the goal of conquering childhood cancer. These efforts culminate every February in a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon. Over 15,000 student volunteers dedicate their time and effort to THON, making it the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Phi Sigma Kappa participates in THON by fundraising and supporting children and families throughout their lifelong journey with cancer. To date, THON has raised more than $127 million for our sole beneficiary, Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Last year alone THON raised more than $13 million, For The Kids.

Kappa Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa has been firmly committed to supporting the efforts of THON. Last year we raised over $51,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund though our canning weekends, THONvelopes, and other fundraising opportunities. We are proud to have recently formed a new partnership with Sorority Phi Sigma Rho. With this new pairing came another wonderful addition, our THON Family, The Beechers. Charlie Beecher, who recently celebrated his 7th birthday, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma when he was sixteen months old. After 42 weeks of chemotherapy Charlie completed his treatment in 2010 and all post-treatment scans have been cancer free. The Beecher family, as well as the entire THON community, continues to inspire us every day to dedicate our time and effort for a cause that we feel passionately about.

Every donation is a chance to make a difference in a child’s life. Some examples of what your generosity can provide for a child and their family:

$60.00- One hour of child life coverage in the inpatient/outpatient units

$75.00- One day of treatment for a leukemia patient

$150.00- One hour of a staff psychologist meeting with patients and their families

$300.00- Buy a wig for a patient who has lost their hair during treatment

$800.00- One day of research looking for a cure

We appreciate any contributions and encourage you to donate online through our donation page. Thank you for your generosity.

For The Kids,

Nicholas Sandford (Fall ’12)
THON Chairman