Each February thousands of families, students and spectators pack the Bryce Jordan Center for Penn State’s favorite weekend of the year: THON. It is rare to find an event as special as THON and with absolutely certainty, it is something Penn Staters hold near and dear to their hearts. Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) is a 46-hour no sitting, no sleeping celebration held each year on Penn State University’s campus. In 2021 this special event was held virtually but with the same mission in mind: helping kids conquering cancer. It is a celebration of an entire year’s worth of fundraising for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Children’s Hospital. Since its creation in 1972, The Four Diamonds Fund has provided financial support, emotional support and so much more to families who have kids battling cancer. Since its inauguration, The Four Diamonds Fund has never turned a family away.
THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world with over 16,500 student volunteers. Since 1977, the organization has raised over $190 million with The Four Diamonds Fund as its sole beneficiary. As a local business woven into the fabric of the Penn State community, Lions Pride considers it a tremendous honor to host Lions Pride FTK, a campaign where the store donates 20% of its total sales directly to THON between February 1, 2022, and February 20, 2022. Lions Pride’s owner, Steve Moyer, discusses the relationship:
“A partnership between Lions Pride and THON always seemed like a natural fit. Because so many wonderful Penn Staters have participated in THON over the years, it is important for Lions Pride to do what it can to support this incredible student-run philanthropy. Lions Pride has been a successful part of the Penn State community for many years thanks to Penn State alumni and fans. And giving back to such a worthy event benefits so many people impacted by this horrible disease.”
Over the past 13 years, Lions Pride’s THON promotion has been an amazing success. When Lions Pride began its FTK campaign in 2009, the store donated $17,222. Since that year, Lions Pride has donated nearly $300,000 to THON’s efforts. Each year the promotion has grown and changed in a way to better benefit the pediatric cancer organization.
Moyer said, “Although I was not involved with THON when I was a Penn State undergraduate, I feel like I am now. A number of years ago I was invited to visit the Hershey Medical Center to see firsthand where money raised was being put to such amazing use. At that time, I had young children of my own. The visit had a huge impact on me. We visited with a family, no different from mine, that was going through cancer treatments. And thanks to THON and the money they have raised, this family was able to receive additional support and the best possible medical care. From that visit, I told myself that Lions Pride would always do as much as it can to support the Penn State Dance Marathon.”
Penn State would not be what it is without THON and Lions Pride would not be able to support such a wonderful organization without the help of incredible customers and the greater Penn State community. The locally owned and operated small business is grateful to give back to an organization that sums up what it means to be Penn State proud. Now through February 20, 2022, shop in-store at Lions Pride and mention THON, or shop online at www.lions-pride.com, and add THON22 to your cart, and 20% of your entire purchase will go directly to THON! GO STATE, BEAT CANCER!