Penn State Club XC Kicks Off Miles for Smiles 2022
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State’s club cross country team is holding their annual fundraiser, Miles for Smiles, in order to benefit THON and its battle against childhood cancer.
Miles for Smiles is a 48-hour treadmill marathon that began in 2015, a tradition where team members take hour-long shifts, all while receiving donations from sponsors.
Hayden Davidson, a third-year and president of the club XC team, helped organize the event.
“My job is to oversee the people in charge of that and make sure everything is running smoothly and we have a good weekend for the kids,” Davidson said.
“One of our bigger goals is to bring awareness to the whole THON community.”
Last year’s Miles for Smiles was remote, but that didn’t deter the team’s goals and motivations, as they raised a total of $53,238.36.
For Jodi Patterson, a second-year student and the club’s treasurer, this will be her first time attending an in-person Miles for Smiles.
“Online we would hop on for a little Zoom hours to hype everyone and get everyone encouraged and excited to go,” Patterson said.
“Even in that atmosphere, you could tell that everyone was that excited and cared about this so much.”
Although the primary goal is to raise as much money as possible, the event is also meant to draw attention to THON and the families that are being benefited.
“Our three THON families often come up for the weekend, we have certain hours allotted for them to either run on the treadmill, sometimes they want to participate too or just sometimes hang out with them and get to know them,” Patterson said.
“Some of our newer members on the team have not had as much time to interact with them, to get to know them as families. That’ll be a great time, not only for us to raise money for THON. . . but it’s also a time where we can build those connections more.”
The marathon begins Friday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. and goes until Sunday, Jan. 30 at 4 p.m.
Jon Mead is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.