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Penn State Dance Marathon Reaches New Heights, Raises More Than $9.5 Million For Childhood Cancer

It had become a yearly tradition at Penn State, four canning weekends intertwined with yearlong efforts to raise money and awareness for childhood cancers of all kinds. Every February, students, alumni, and wellwishers turned their eyes toward Happy Valley to see what the new total was for that year, and seeing how much higher the bar could be raised.

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In 2000, THON and the Four Diamonds Fund broke the $3 million mark; in 2005, they passed $4 million. From 2007 to 2009, each year brought a new milestone, passing the $5 million, $6 million and $7 million marks. As had become the norm, last year's total of $7.8 million set another new record. Based on trends, estimates put the 2011 total somewhere in the low- to mid-$8 million range. Which is why everyone in attendance on Sunday was completely shocked when the 2011 total was announced, an amazing $9,563,016.09.

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To learn more about THON and what you can do to help, please visit THON.org. Thank you to everyone that was involved, from the dancers and captains, all the way down to the individual donors.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.