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Each year, 16,500 Penn State students unite under the common goal of defeating childhood cancer and inspiring hope in those who we join in the battle. Penn State Dance Marathon, affectionately known as "THON", is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world and has raised over 157 million dollars for childhood cancer treatment and research at Penn State Children’s Hospital. THON is a yearlong effort that culminates in a 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon each Feburary. The funds raised by organizations such as Springfield ensure that no family at Penn State Children’s Hospital will see a bill related to their child’s treatment and additionally finances critical research in pursuit of a cure.
In 2001, on the Springfield floor of Simmons Hall, a group of friends decided to create a THON organization independent of the traditional Schreyer Honors College group and Greek life. From the very beginning, Springfield has been a trailblazer in the THON community. As the first special interest organization (SIO) Springfield raised $6,500 and supported two dancers in THON 2001. Over the last seventeen years, Springfield has grown from a handful of floor mates to 175 dedicated volunteers, from two dancers to ten, and from $6,500 to $168,078.73.
Springfield benefiting THON is an organization of 100 dedicated Penn State students committed to bringing an end to pediatric cancer. Springfield takes on a personal role in this fight as we support our four families through their pediatric cancer journeys: the Colons, the Robertsons, the Schopfs, and the Silbaughs. One of the unique parts about Springfield is the personal connection we have with our adopted Four Diamonds Families--each of their journeys has been different and each stand at a different stage of their journey, but Springfield maintains an incredible relationship with each of them. We do more than provide financial support; we make memories and connections with them that last a lifetime. Our families continually inspire us with their courage and strength, and they fuel our passion in the fight for a future where cancer does not exist. The Colons, the Robertsons, the Schopfs and the Silbaughs are an integral part of our Springfield family, and we fight as hard as we can for them.
All funds raised by Springfield directly support families impacted by childhood cancer and the important research conducted at Penn State Children's Hospital in pursuit of a cure. Here are a few ways your contribution could help a child fighting pediatric cancer:
As alumni of this incredible, passionate organization, we continue to fight for the day when no parent has to hear the words "your child has cancer." Join us in the fight today!