Penn State Students Reflect on Their First THON
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- For the first time, many students were able to experience THON in person at the Bryce Jordan Center this past weekend.
THON is the annual 46-hour dance marathon to raise money for the Four Diamonds at Penn State Health Children's Hospital and is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Four Diamonds helps support and financially assist families in the fight against childhood cancer and helps fund cancer research.
Second-year student Paige Ruggeri was one of the many experiencing THON for the first time, which she described as a great experience.
“My first THON was so fun, I feel like finally being able to attend in person, you got to feel the energy we didn’t experience last year,” Ruggeri said. “It was probably the most fun weekend of my life.”
Last year, due to the pandemic, THON was completely virtual, which impacted the typical THON experience, which consists of 16,000 people filling the Bryce Jordan Center, standing in unity for their organizations' dancers.
While staying up for 46 hours doesn’t seem so fun, THON puts on a variety of activities and performances for the spectators, dancers, and Four Diamonds families who attend the event.
Second-year student Summer Kaminski mentioned her favorite part of THON was the traditional line dance the Dancer Relations Captains do once every hour during THON.
“When everyone was tired of standing and you really thought you couldn’t stand any longer, they would do the line dance and everyone would get so energetic,” she said. “The whole stadium would be doing the same moves, it was really cool.”
This year, THON celebrated its 50th anniversary and raised $13,756,374.50 for the kids, making it the largest total raised at THON to date.
Gabrielle Teiner is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.