THON inspires alumni to hold fundraising events across the country

University Park, Pa. — “THON 2009: Dream Forward” officially got rolling in November 2008 when the student organizing committee started the countdown at “100 days 'til THON.” Now, as Penn State students count down the remaining days to Penn State's annual Dance Marathon, held this year Feb. 20-22, alumni groups beyond Happy Valley have been busy with their own THON fundraisers.

Penn State alumni have found ways to “Dream Forward” and also “pay it forward” by attending THON-related events from New York City to Atlanta. Building on  previous success of Diamonds Over Georgia in Atlanta and Philadelphia's Liberty Ball, the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) plans events and works with alumni chapters to organize fundraisers for THON and its beneficiary, The Four Diamonds Fund. In addition, many chapters throughout the country also sponsor THON fundraising events.

In January, Penn State alumni in the greater New York metro area held “Hope Gala 2009: It's Up to You, New York!” More than 350 attendees were hosted by Penn State alumna and by HGTV and Food Network television personality Jill Cordes, who danced in THON as a student. The event featured remarks by THON's overall chairperson, a Four Diamonds family and a doctor from the Hershey Medical School. The evening included a cocktail hour, a silent auction, sit-down dinner and entertainment. Click here for photos from the event.

Events coming up across the country include:

Diamonds Over Georgia 2009
Friday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m.
The greater Atlanta Penn State alumni will host their popular fundraiser — Diamonds Over Georgia — to benefit efforts to fight childhood cancer through The Four Diamonds Fund at the Hershey Medical Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The event, now in its third year, will feature food, drinks, dancing and a live auction at the Atlanta Woman’s Club. Purchase tickets in advance, as space is limited to 250 people. Details are at

Liberty Ball
A Knight for the Kids

Saturday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. 
Alumni in Philadelphia will gather for the fourth annual “Liberty Ball, A Knight for the Kids” on Feb. 7 at The Franklin (formerly the Franklin Institute). Organizers are planning an elegant evening with a three-course dinner, open bar, silent auction, and entertainment by Second Vision, a 10-piece dance band with vocalists who thrive on “keeping everyone on the dance floor all night long.” In its first three years, the Liberty Ball has raised more than $30,000 for The Four Diamonds Fund. Details are at

A detailed listing of many alumni THON-related events — including THON Days/Nights Out and other THON fundraising events in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. — can be found on the Events link of DMAIG’s Web site,, and sponsoring chapter Web sites.

Visit the newly redesigned THON Web site at, which includes a secure link to donate to THON as well as a THON store with products whose purchases also benefit The Four Diamonds Fund, as well as $5 raffle chances to win a 2009 Suzuki SX4 All Wheel Drive Crossover, a cruise for two to Bermuda from Norwegian Cruise Line, a Dell Latitude E4300 laptop or other prizes.

Visit THON online by clicking on the logo above. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated November 18, 2010