Penn State students raised more than $10 million for the fight against pediatric cancer this year, bringing the total to a staggering $136 million since THON’s inception in 1973.
James Franklin said he didn’t really understand the school’s dance marathon — THON — before he became the head football coach, but now he’s bought in. He discussed it on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Thursday morning.
“I really didn’t understand it before coming to Penn State … to make that type of commitment for service, to do something for others, is special,” Franklin said, “and is what Penn State’s all about.”
Watch the whole clip here.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 23, 2017
THON is a 46-hour dance marathon that culminates a year of fundraising. It’s the world’s largest student-run philanthropy.
Penn State football player Charlie Shuman danced for 46 hours this year, and the team participated in “Athlete Hour” — a dance competition held every year. They finished third after winning it last year.
“It’s one thing to dance for 46 straight hours when you’re 170 pounds. Just imagine doing it at 305 pounds. So I’m really proud of our guys,” Franklin said.
“Penn State does a really good job very early on of teaching the importance of service and making a positive impact in your community. It’s something we’ve really embraced. And our guys have just had a lot of fun with it. We try to get our guys kind of addicted and bought into that service aspect of our university and our football program really early on. And it’s something I hope they carry with them the rest of their life.”