THON 2020, Final Four

A child plays with a water gun during the final four hours of Penn State THON at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused numerous in-person events to take place online, and this time it’s affected the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

Penn State's THON announced Friday its annual 46-hour dance marathon will be held virtually in Feb. 2021.

According to THON’s FAQs sheet, the event will still include dancers, although their experience will be “different.” The event will also include student volunteers, THON families, guest speakers and performers.

Additionally, all events leading up to THON — including the 5K on Oct. 11, the 100 Days ‘til THON celebration and the Family Carnival — will occur “to the fullest extent possible.”

THON organizations will receive more information about their dancer allocation in “early September.” There will still be a dancer lottery this spring semester.

Details regarding the virtual event will be made available later this year, according to the sheet.

Fundraising remains THON’s priority, as all donations will be delivered to Four Diamonds.

“We will have to make appropriate accommodations to ensure the safety of our volunteers, families, and other constituents, but THON remains a year-long effort and we always aim to keep our community engaged,” the FAQ sheet reads.

Since 1973, THON has raised more than $180 million to fight pediatric cancer, according to its website. In Feb. 2020, THON raised over $11.6 million.


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