February 20, 2011; Source: Altoona Mirror | I recently wrote a newswire that discussed the fact that it’s all the rage in New York to boast the odd billionaire on the board but does this always trump the worth of an energetic, fun-loving college kid? The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance maraTHON, involving 700 students, raised $9.56 million this year and $7.8 million last year, giving it the distinction, according to organizers, of being the largest student run charity in the world. It has raised $69 million since its inception in 1977 so it is quite clearly in growth mode.

The take from the 46-hour event “covers any expense an insurer won't pay for families receiving cancer treatment at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. It helps pay for cutting-edge research that one day could allow doctors to tailor cancer medicines to each patient.”

What helps the students dedicate themselves so mightily to this event? In some cases the students have friends or family members who have experienced cancer as children but also, at the dance itself, children who will benefit from the proceeds mix among the dancers keeping the focus on the beneficiaries. Congratulations to these students. You are an inspiration – seriously effective and fun all at one time!—Ruth McCambridge