Dance Marathon

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. All proceeds benefit The Four Diamonds Fund, Conquering Childhood Cancer, at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This year-long fundraising event culminates in a 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping Dance Marathon in the Bryce Jordan Center each February. Over the past 40 years, Penn State students have raised nearly 90 million dollars and have helped thousands of children and families fight pediatric cancer.

Student-athletes at Penn State are involved in the year-round fundraising efforts and participate in numerous events before and throughout THON weekend. Each year, a SAAB THON Committee is elected and consists of an Entertainment Captain, a Communications Captain, a Family and Dancer Relations Chair, and Fundraising Chairs. These individuals oversee SAAB’s THON involvement and fundraising efforts, and help select 4-6 student-athletes to dance in the 46-hour event. Some of the events organized annually by SAAB to benefit THON include: the Tailgate Barbecue, the Mr. and Miss Student-Athlete Pageant, canning at sporting events, solicitation letters, and an online memorabilia auction. Student-athletes also participate in the THON Family Carnival in November, and Athlete Hour and the annual Pep Rally during THON weekend.



The Tailgate BBQ is SAAB’s annual kickoff fundraising event to benefit THON. The BBQ is typically held each October during Homecoming week. Student-athlete volunteers help organize the event and serve the food.


Each year student-athletes spend time putting together solicitation letters to send to their families and friends. SAAB THON Committee members build a donor database as well as assist in preparing the mailings themselves.

THON Athlete Hour

During THON weekend, student-athletes participate in Athlete Hour. Athlete Hour enables student-athletes the opportunity to spend time playing with THON children and their families. Each sport has its own station and activity.

THON Pep Rally

The Pep Rally is held each year on Saturday night of THON weekend. Members of various athletic teams participate in pumping up the crowd and competing in a talent competition. The theme of the competition changes from year to year, but always consists of teams choreographing and performing group dances to songs that relate to the theme. Student-athletes have a great time hosting the show, and the event is always a crowd pleaser with THON spectators and dancers.

For additional information about the SAAB’s involvement with the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, contact Liz Johnson

For more information about THON or to donate, please visit

Lunch with the Lions

This fun filled hour of lunch, games, activities and socialization gives Penn State students in the LifeLink Program, a group that provides students with special needs opportunities to get involved in campus life, a chance to connect with Penn State student-athletes. This event, which takes place during the Fall semester, allows both the student-athletes and the students in the LifeLink program a chance to relax with friends and play games during a lunch hour. The Lunch with the Lions event in the Spring semester occurs at the Village Retirement Home and gives local retirement residents a chance to play games and socialize with Penn State student-athletes. Many of the area senior citizens (often alumni) come to support athletic events, so this is a great opportunity for these two groups to spend time together. Lunch with the Lions is an event that is truly rewarding to both the students in the LifeLink program, the residents at the Village Retirement Home, and Penn State student-athletes.

For additional information about Lunch with the Lions, contact Liz Johnson

Special Olympics

Each year at the opening ceremonies for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Summer Games, student-athletes walk in the opening parade with the Special Olympics athletes who are representing their counties. In addition, student-athletes give out medals and serve as game officials and  at a variety of Special Olympics events. Special Olympics All-Sports Day

This event brings participants from Centre County Special Olympics together with Penn State student-athletes for a night of sports, food and fun. The Special Olympics All-Sports Day includes activities such as a dancing station with music by a disc jockey, a game day photo and interview station for the Special Olympics athletes, and a craft booth and games. After all of the games and activities are all finished, Special Olympics athletes and Penn State student-athletes have time to socialize over pizza and snacks.

For additional information about Special Olympics events, contact Liz Johnson

Trick or Treat

With an underlying theme of Penn State pride meeting the Halloween spirit, this event gives local children and their parents a night of activities, games, and trick-or-treating, all while touring the Penn State All-Sports Museum. As local children trick-or-treat through the museum, they receive candy from some of their favorite Penn State student-athletes.

For additional information about the All-Sports Museum Trick or Treat, contact Liz Johnson