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The Countdown to THON is on!

The 2013 Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), benefitting Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, begins on Friday (Feb. 15).

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, and each year more than 15,000 students at Penn State campuses across Pennsylvania volunteer their time to raise money and awareness for the purpose of conquering pediatric cancer. Since 1979, THON has donated more than $89 million to The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey's Children's Hospital to help patients and families dealing with childhood cancer through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.

THON is inviting the world to take part in a global line dance to raise awareness of pediatric cancer on Saturday, February 16, at 6:45 p.m. Dance With Us is designed as a 30-second line dance that fans and supporters from around the globe can participate in via Live Stream on the THON Facebook page. Participants can Dance With Us from the comfort of their living room, their backyard or even the grocery store.

Check out the instructional video on the THON Facebook page to learn the dance and be ready to join in on Saturday.

Meanwhile, today at 6 p.m., 24 runners will depart from the main entrance of the new Children's Hospital on their journey to Penn State and the Bryce Jordan Center. Runners will carry a bag of letters from Four Diamonds families expressing their gratitude to the students at Penn State and THON who support the Four Diamonds Fund.

Follow the Hope Express team as the runners make their way through central Pennsylvania at

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