Character studies: THON 2012 / Friday and Saturday
About a third of the students at University Park participate directly in the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon each year. But the mammoth charity event affects the life of almost everyone on campus. These profiles show experiences from the first two days of THON. Sunday's stories are posted here.
Reporting from the dance floor: Andre Freeman / Saturday night
Andre Freeman shows signs of fatigue late Saturday night. He is one of two students who will be sharing his experience of being a dancer at THON in a series of video reports. He is dancing for Lambda Chi Alpha.
-- video by Andre Freeman
Reporting from the dance floor: Haley Blum / Saturday night
Haley Blum says her feet hurt but the line dance is a morale boost. She is one of two students who will be sharing her experience of being a dancer at THON in a series of video reports. She is dancing for the Penn State Figure Skating Club. In this dispatch she talks about the 2012 line dance.
-- video by Haley Blum
Rules and Regulations committee member protects the BJC
Tricia Kazinetz, freshman Division of Undergraduate Studies major and Rules and Regulations committee member guards doors to keep those participating in THON 2012 as well as the Bryce Jordan Center itself safe.
--by Sierra Dole
Pete Giannopoulos doesn't let a broken leg stop him
This year, Pete Giannopoulos is on the morale committee, trying to inspire the dancers to keep going throughout their time dancing. His job got a little bit harder though when he injured his ankle. Crutches and a cast won’t keep him from supporting his fellow students and raising money for the kids.
-- by Kirk Dyson
Student with failing voice signs her support for THON
Senior Brooke Prout resorts to signing cheers and support to the dancers of the Sign Language Organization when her voice gets worn out midway through THON weekend.
-- by Travis Patterson
Branch campus dancer's THON journey
Sara Johnson is a freshman who is dancing for the Penn State Shenango Campus. This is Johnson's first THON and she is overwhelmed with all the support she has received so far this weekend. Early Saturday morning, Sara continues to fight through the pain to show her support for children with pediatric cancer.
-- by T.J. Hill
A different view of the benefits of THON
Francis Cannella, Vice President of Operations at The LION 90.7fm, believes that THON is for a great cause, but thinks that Penn State and its students could spread the wealth and do more in other areas of concern.
-- by Equille V. Williams
For Luis Santamaria THON's cause is personal
Luis Santamaria, a junior at Penn State, has lost some of his family members and friends to cancer. While not being a part of big a organization on campus, he wanted to get involved with Penn State’s Panhellenic Dance Marathon and joined the Rules and Regulation Committee. This weekend Luis is committed to provide safety and will help ensure a smooth and secure 46 hours for the family and children.
-- by Stephanie Olmo
Lo Alessi stages dancer-favorite slides of strength
Senior Lo Alessi is a THON Operations Captain in charge of the slides of strength during THON weekend.
-- by Nick Blake
Student enforces rules to keep THON running smoothly
Penn State student Jasmin Castillo is working atTHON for a second year. She says she loves helping out children with cancer anyway that she can.
-- by Matt Gurnari
Helping Four Diamond families have a good experience at THON
Andrew Lambert has held two different captain positions over the last two years for THON. This year he is a Family Relations Captain.
-- by Bradley Thomas
The inspiration of THON
Accounting major Binti Pathak is one of the many students that dedicated their time on a THON committee all year to make sure everything ran smoothly for the big weekend. She's a part of the Finance committee and was on call at the Bryce Jordan Center for 6 hours. Pathak talks about her duties and how she has been inspired by THON.
-- by Brittany Moses
THON clothes sale quick and popular
Lucy Song, the captain of a THON merchandise committee, is spending the weekend selling THON clothes and other items at the BJC. The sale has attracted a large flow of customers. Thousands of boxes of clothes sold out in less than a day.
-- by Wenqian Zhu
Entertainment captain books bands for THON
Entertainment captain Sam Robins spent the months leading up to THON weekend scouring State College bars for the perfect bands to perform during the 46-hour dance marathon. After auditioning over 30 bands, Robins narrowed it down to seven bands, including popular local bands Go Go Gadget and My Hero Zero.
During THON, Robins escorts each band to the stage, helps them set up and "tear down," and gets to dance on the 4 Diamonds stage with THON children. When she's not helping out at center stage, Robins can be found filming video to broadcast over the two screens framing the stage.
-- by Katie Montgomery
2005 alum still volunteering for THON
Penn State alum, Mike Cocco, and member of the Four Diamonds Fund explains his involvement in THON. He admires how dedicated to the cause Penn State students are and that's why he returns every year since his graduation in 2005.
--by Aqiyla McLean
Captain fights fatigue to feed THON
Kelsey Faber, 22, is a Hospitality Captain for THON. She spends the majority of the year acquiring food donations to feed more than 700 dancers and 300 captains during the 46-hour marathon event.
-- by Catie Driza
Teen experiences THON for the first time
Logan Murphy, 16, had never known or experienced what THON was until she came to visit her brother during THON weekend. When she stepped into the Bryce Jordan Center, she wasn't expecting the "liveliness" of the students.
-- by Tabitha Rinehart
At her fourth THON, Erica Raizman raised nearly $10,000 as a dancer
Erica Raizman is a senior at Penn State, and has participated in THON every year. Last fall of her senior year she did a co-op that prevented her from participating with a committee, so she decided to be an independent dancer this year. She and one partner raised close to $10,000 with the help of friends and family, to be able to independently dance this year at THON.
-- by Lindsay Gunderman
5-year-old Noah Mummert steals the hearts of Apollo 12
Apollo 12 is a new THON organization that is sponsoring 5-year-old Noah Mummert, a cancer survivor. We hear the bond that has been formed between the Mummert family and Apollo 12.
-- by Travis Clark
Watching THON 2012 has inspired Molly Cochran to do more next year
Molly Cochran is a sophomore studying criminal justice and this is her first year involved with THON. Her sorority, Sigma Alpha, sponsors a four year old cancer patient with the Four Diamonds Fund.
-- by Shawn Clark
Communications Students Show THON to the World
Penn State Junior Will Monkowski shares his THON experience through the webcast that he is a part of for the third consecutive year. Will is a telecommunications major. Students in Communications 497K, a webcast production course, and volunteers like Will are responsible for streaming the dance marathon live for the entire weekend.
-- by Kaitlin Cangro
Penn State Lion Line raises money for THON
While dancers fill the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center, senior Michelle McDyre (Criminal Justice) is supervising callers raising money for THON at the Penn State Lion Line. She uses color wars, team beads, and posters to pump up her staff at THON's fund-raising headquarters.
UPDATE: Lion Line raised $190,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund during THON weekend.
-- by Rachelle Thompson
First Time visitors to THON
Sarah Celani, Dana Valinsky, and Ashley Farr were extremely excited to be part of THON for the first time this year and cannot wait to come back next year. They are experiencing THON with friends that are veterans of the weekend-long marathon, and are having the time of their lives.
-- by George Umbenhauer
It's hard work being THON's babysitter
Senior Lance Gabriel (Architectural Engineering) explains the kind of hard work and dedication it takes to be a Rules & Regulations captain, and the priorities that a Captain should have while watching over the THON participants.
-- by Edward A. Fetner
Reporting from the dance floor: Haley Blum / Saturday morning
Haley Blum is one of two students who will be sharing her experience of being a dancer at THON in a series of video reports. She is dancing for the Penn State Figure Skating Club. In this dispatch she talks about the 2012 line dance.
-- video by Haley Blum
Preserving THON memories
Jess Uzar (senior, print journalism) is the current Editor-In-Chief for the Penn State yearbook, La Vie. The yearbook staff covers the entire weekend. They build the yearbook pages during THON at a computer in press row at the Bryce Jordan Center. They plan to have 32 pages dedicated to THON completed by Sunday evening. The final yearbook deadline is in two weeks.
-- by Allison Williams
Reporting from the dance floor: Andre Freeman / Friday night
Andre Freeman is one of two students who will be sharing his experience of being a dancer at THON in a series of video reports. He is dancing for Lambda Chi Alpha. In this dispatch he talks about learning the 2012 line dance.
-- video by Andre Freeman
An experience like no other
Kendell Taylor didn't know what THON was before coming to Penn State. Now she has been a supporter for the past two years. Seeing the relationships the dancers build with the Four Diamonds Fund children is one of her favorite things about THON.
-- by Michael Ravotti
Reporting from the dance floor: Haley Blum / Friday evening
Haley Blum is one of two students who will be sharing her experience of being a dancer at THON in a series of video reports. She is dancing for the Penn State Figure Skating Club. In this dispatch she talks about beginning her Thon 2012 experience.
-- video by Haley Blum
Reporting from the dance floor: Andre Freeman / Friday evening
Andre Freeman is one of two students who will be sharing his experience of being a dancer at THON in a series of video reports. In this dispatch he checks in at the beginning for the 46-hour dance marathon.
-- video by Andre Freeman
Four Diamond Foundation director shares her love for THON
Suzanne Graney has been attending THON for two years. She is now the director of The Four Diamond Foundation. She is enthusiastic about her experience with the largest student run philanthropy in the world, Penn State's THON.
-- by Morgan Mazzarella
A first-time dancer reflects on what it all means in the early hours of THON
Alyssa Esposito, Penn State Cheerleader, attacks THON with the upmost enthusiasm, excitement and not much fear... Can she do it??
-- by Alyssa Pulice
Scenes from the start of THON
At 6 p.m. Friday, on cue from the Thon Overall, 708 dancers leaped to their feet and THON was officially underway. (Video initially published by the Daily Collegian)
-- video by Kelley King
Erin the THON line dancer
Erin Runnels is participating in THON for the fourth year. Throughout THON, she will be dancing on stage as a line dancer. She plans to alternate line dance shifts this year with another communications committee member. She says THON is a great cause and she enjoys dancing.
-- by Lucy Ukwa
Hours in line worth the wait for prime seats
Members of Ohana, an independent student organization that has raised more than a quarter million dollars for THON since it was founded in 2008, wait outside the Bryce Jordan Center before the start of the dance marathon. They endured hours in line for the chance to lay claim to a block of prime seats for members of the group to watch THON.
-- by Terry-Ann Masters
Atlas member Ryan McElroy can't wait to get into THON
Ryan McElroy, sophomore international politics major, waited outside the Bryce Jordan Center all afternoon in 40 degree weather with his friends for the start of THON. McElroy, a member of the special interest organization Atlas, says he can't wait to get inside and get to THON.
-- by Hayley Wildeson
A Dancer is excited and worried as THON 2012 arrives
Kerry Bowers is a senior at Penn State and is dancing in THON for the first time. Although Kerry knows that standing for 46 hours will be very challenging, she believes that the support from her friends and family will get her through it. She also plans to keep the memory of her committee’s THON child with her to keep her going.
-- by Erin Torpey
Morale Committee member Christen Thomas has high hopes as THON begins
Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) committee members, friends and family gathered Friday afternoon to support dancers in a human tunnel. The dancers walked to the Bryce Jordan Center with their belongings from the Multi-Sport Indoor Facility. This marked the beginning of 46 hours of no sleep and no sitting for over 700 Penn State students. One morale committee member, Christen Thomas, expressed her wishes for the upcoming weekend.
-- by Sarah Foss