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Penn State's THON campaign redefines 'remarkable'

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Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Penn State University community has every reason to be proud of the record-breaking $12.37 million this year's THON raised to fight pediatric cancer.

The yearlong fundraising campaign culminated with an on-campus dance marathon last weekend. More than 700 students stayed on their feet for 46 hours straight, supported by thousands of volunteers and cheered on by families who benefit.

Increasing this year's total almost 17 percent from the previous year's $10.6 million is a remarkable achievement, period. But achieved as it was — despite fundraising trips nixed due to Hurricane Sandy's effects and despite the shadow cast by the Jerry Sandusky scandal — it's even more remarkable.

A student spokeswoman had no explanation for THON shattering its fundraising record. But that total couldn't have been reached without the overwhelming generosity of students undeterred by hindrances beyond their control and of all whose combined donations set the new record.

This year's $12.37 million brings THON's total raised since 1977 for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital to more than $100 million. And it underlines the positive value of PSU's school spirit and the PSU community's concern for children in a dramatic fashion that's impossible to ignore.

Congratulations to all who made this year's THON such a success — and encouragement to all working already toward another record next year.

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