Thompson Praises Penn State Students for record setting THON

February 24, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative and Penn State Alumnus, Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, took to the House Floor this morning to congratulate and praise the over 15,000 students that raised $7.49 million to help conquer pediatric cancer as part of this year’s THON.  Check out Congressman Thompson’s You Tube Channel to view the video; transcript below.

Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the house for and revise and extend my remarks.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to a great cause and to congratulate the over 15,000 young men and women at Penn State University who participate in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world – THON. 

THON, which is short for Dance Marathon, is a student run venture led by the Penn State University Inter-fraternity and the Panhellenic Council, whose mission is to conquer pediatric cancer by providing outstanding emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers, and staff – at the Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Madam Speaker, this is no ordinary student organization.

Dating back to 1972, when THON first began, a small group of dancers raised approximately $2,000.

This past weekend, over 15,000 student volunteers, raised $7.49 million dollars to fight pediatric cancer – and since its inception in 1972, THON has raised more than $52 million dollars for this worthy cause.

And while this is a year-long, never ending fight against pediatric cancer, it culminates each year with a 46 hour dance marathon.

With 708 dancers this year, representing over 350 student organizations, and 180 individual groups, THON has shattered previous year’s records.

Madam Speaker, it is this type of leadership and dedication that gives me renewed hope that our nation’s best days are still ahead of us.

As a proud Penn State Alumnus, I join with colleagues such as Congressman Wolf a Penn State Alumnus, it is not only an honor to be associated with a first class institution; it is privilege to share that association with the 15,000 students that participated in THON.

We Penn Staters’ have a saying; ‘WE ARE PENN STATE’, but Madam Speaker, as you can see, it goes without question, that these students are truly the WE in ‘PENN STATE’.

Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.