100 Days ‘Til Thon Celebrated in HUB on Wednesday
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — THON is just 100 days away. Usually, thousands of Penn State students pack the HUB-Robeson Center to celebrate the occasion.
This year, it looked a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the executive directors of THON were in the HUB, the event was live streamed for the rest of its usual audience.
Brian Seitz is a senior and is THON’s special events director. Even though much of THON will look different this year, Seitz is still working to keep enthusiasm up.
“We really wanted to focus on making students excited and instill a sense of excitement throughout the community,” Seitz said. “We’re focusing on building up the live stream component this year and making sure that people around the world are excited for THON weekend.”
The event ran from 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning until 5 p.m. that night. It kicked off with introductions and a line dance. The day continued with a family speaker, a human photo reveal and closing remarks.
It concluded with the unveiling of THON’s 2021 “Rise and Unify” logo.
With so many aspects of THON being different this year, Seitz sees it as an opportunity to change the ways he approaches the event.
“What’s really cool about THON this year is that we have a blank slate to rewrite what we’ve done in the past,” Seitz said. “We can look forward into uncertainty with a positive mindset and rethink everything that we do and focus on the mission again.”
As THON continues to inch closer, fundraising has already begun. THON announced two weeks ago it raised nearly 700,000 dollars as a part of its dream-forward campaign.
Last year, THON raised over 11 million dollars and will work to beat that mark when the 46-hour dance marathon kicks off on Friday, Feb. 19.
Jake Starr is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle Cannillo contributed to this story.