46 hours of THON 2013: A multimedia blog | Friday
The organizers of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon -- better known as THON -- estimate that 15,000 students participate directly in the event, which last year raised more than $10 million to benefit the families of children with cancer. On the University Park campus, nearly all of the 40,000 students come in contact with the 46-hour event, one way or another. These are their stories. (Check out Saturday and Sunday, too)
Shaping up for THON
The road to THON is different for every dancer. This story follows one dancer, Steve Sawa, in his journey to get in the best shape possible for the 46-hour marathon.
-- by Mike Edler
Christine Dax talks about her expectations dancing at THON for the first time. She talks about how her last four years working in ATLAS, one of the largest contributors to THON, have culminated to this moment.
-- by Coale Henderson
OPPerations Committee workers keep Bryce Jordan Center squeaky clean
Marina Stinely will spend most of this weekend taking out the trash, replacing toilet paper and sweeping the floors. That's because the Penn State sophomore is a THON OPPerations committee member responsible for keeping the Bryce Jordan Center tidy for dancers, supporters and Four Diamonds Fund families. OPPerations committee members also help set-up and tear down for the 46-hour dance marathon.
This is Stinely's second year of working with THON. The political science major said the time she spends on the dance floor with the children makes up for the less glamorous hours spent doing extra chores.
-- by Sarah Peters
MaraTHON with a Message
Molly Thomas, a 2010 Penn State graduate, works with Hope Express, which was started by a Four Diamonds family seven years ago. The family organized the 135-mile journey from Hershey to University Park in order to give something back to the students and supporters of THON who raised funds to help their child. The runners have a special mission that begins at the Hershey Medical Center with a party for children who are too ill to attend THON and ends with their arrival at the Bryce Jordan Center, the home of THON.
-- by Elise Brown
Making a human tunnel
Junior Alex Eliasof is a moraler at THON for the second year in a row. He supported his dancer and 709 others by being part of the chain of people who made up a human tunnel on the way to the Bryce Jordan Center. Eliasof greeted dancers passing through the tunnel with high fives, chants and words of encouragement. He even altered his hairstyle to show his support.
-- by Eric Feinstein
Freshman becomes an early riser to help save places
Steve Prongay, a telecommunications major, had to be awake at sunrise to be in the front of the line outside the Bryce Jordan Center to enter THON. He arrived at about 8 o'clock and could not believe that his crew were the first ones there. THON has special significance for Prongay because members of his family have died of cancer and he has joined to fight for the cause.
-- by Matthew Stainthorpe
Lining up for the perfect seat
Junior telecom major John Bridgens is the chair for ComRadio's THON organization. He stood in line for more than two hours to get seats inside the Bryce Jordan Center for THON 2013. ComRadio has raised more than $5000 this year for THON. Bridgens says he hopes to be at the Jordan Center for most of THON weekend. Two students are dancing for ComRadio, Breanna Jacobs and Victoria Wain.
-- by Tyler Estright
At the head of the line
Lily List is a freshman and a member of the college of Earth and Mineral Sciences. When students waiting to enter the Bryce Jordan Center were told to move from University Drive to Stadium West, List made sure that she made it to the front. Students started gathering outside the BJC around 9 a.m. and waited until 4 p.m. to get in -- a seven hours wait.
-- by Ryan Kudla
A freshman lines up for her first THON
Lauren Dubosky. a freshman majoring in print journalism and public relations, waits outside of the Bryce Jordan Center for the rest of her THON organization. Dubosky is a part of Atlas, the highest earning fundraising organization for THON. Even though this is her first year at Penn State, Dubosky knew she wanted to get involved after she saw her sister involved about 10 years ago. Dressed in shorts, sunglasses and with a Nittany Lion tail attached to her back, Dubosky braved a chilly morning for the chance to sit in a section with a good view of THON.
-- by Amanda McGranaghan
A chilly wait for THON to begin
Although people cannot officially begin getting into line to enter the Bryce Jordan Center for THON until 2 p.m., a line began to form down University Ave. around 7:45 a.m. on Friday. Kerry Hannan braved the chilly morning to join her sisters from Delta Zeta soroity in line.
-- by Timothy Schoen
Communications committee member shows "Up" early for THON
Senior Ashley Smyth got involved in THON her freshman year. She had been on the OPPerations Committee in previous years but decided to change things up. Now she is a member of the Campus Outreach Faculty Communications committee.
At 8 a.m. on Friday morning she and her fellow committee members were on the concourse level of the Bryce Jordan Center setting up their info booth, themed after the movie "Up." Other communication committees were assigned other Pixar movies.
As a communications committe member it is Ashley's responsibility to know as much as possible about THON and answer any questions people might have. She also will be working sleep shifts and giving tours during her time at THON.
-- by Iris Peters