THON 2019 in pictures and words
THON bills itself as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, both in revenue and volunteer participation. The organization estimates that 16,500 students -- about one in three undergraduates at University Park -- participate in the 46-hour event, which since its inception has raised more than $150 million to benefit the families of children with cancer.
Student journalists from the Bellisario College of Communications are covering THON on this blog and on a THON-specific website. Follow student reporting on Twitter and Instagram at #commthon2019. This blog will be updated throughout THON.
Navigate this blog by time of day:
- Sunday afternoon, including the big reveal of the total raised in 2019.
- Sunday morning
- Saturday night
- Saturday afternoon
- Saturday morning
- Friday night
- Friday afternoon
- Preparing for THON
- THON 2019 Timeline
- Just One More
The big reveal, via 46 Live:
#commthon2019 12:54 nearly 3 hours left of thon. Sean Darley exhales a long sigh before the final ceremony, his favorite part of the whole weekend. pic.twitter.com/1vlTKFZWe3— Sam McQuillan (@sam_mcquill) February 17, 2019
Nice photos by @PSUBellisario journalist @MontanaTelman, made for an iPhone photography class. Left: María Suarez, 21, shaves the head of dancer Jenna Maida, 22. Rt: THON Dancer, Ryan McCloy, after he was pied for a THON fundraiser. #comm497s19 #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/TxKYM9KkQE— Curt Chandler (@webcurtpsu) February 17, 2019
Throughout the 46 hours of THON, journalists from student media publish news about the event from press row high above the BJC floor. You can follow their live coverage here:
#CommThon2019 9:26am It’s almost time. Brent McCulloh, a 4x Thon vet awaits one of his favorite dancer events at THON. pic.twitter.com/Dr2Sc3VFRi— Sam McQuillan (@sam_mcquill) February 17, 2019
9:25 am #COMMthon2019 “I don’t really know what’s going on, but other than that I’m having a lot of fun.” Just about 7 hours left and I’m here with Ben Raeder as he takes on 46 hours FTK! pic.twitter.com/9DmWzp4QKf— Emily Palmer (@EmilyPa71396409) February 17, 2019
The energy in the BJC is at high volume right now! #COMMTHON2019 6:41 a.m. pic.twitter.com/Rw94Ms6vjm— Kerry Dunphy (@kdunph) February 17, 2019
A few minutes before dawn, inside the Bryce Jordan Center, the dancers are still going strong.
#COMMTHON2019 6:44 a.m. pic.twitter.com/9gXpk8xdGl— Kerry Dunphy (@kdunph) February 17, 2019
2 a.m. Penn State senior Mike Healy raised around 10 thousand dollars for @THON through one of his passions, cycling. He concludes his years of fundraising efforts by dancing in THON 2019. #COMMthon2019 #THON #PennState pic.twitter.com/WD1OM1FXky— Claire Going (@claire_going) February 17, 2019
9:41pm #COMMthon2019 Men’s gymnastics is crowned the winner of the Pep Rally. This is their third consecutive win. pic.twitter.com/SrB4rWlaAo— Allison Rambler (@allison_rambler) February 17, 2019
Penn State Football in the house! �� The team came with a wonderful dance routine tribute for THON 9:27pm #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/vYz3LhaMbd— sarahvenezia (@sarahvenezia2) February 17, 2019
Penn State Nittnay Lion mascot does 46 one-armed push ups in honor of THON’s 46 hours! 9:04pm #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/tOPZEA4I2J— sarahvenezia (@sarahvenezia2) February 17, 2019
Penn State’s first ever pep rally WHITE OUT during THON 2019 #COMMTHON2019 8:37PM pic.twitter.com/khW0fpbelH— caitlin bowman (@caitbowman97) February 17, 2019
4:00 p.m. Six-year-old Artie Foster pies dancer relations committee member Tj Schaefer in the face. #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/e1om8vPw1q— Claire Going (@claire_going) February 16, 2019
6:00 pm #COMMthon2019— iam_xxxyz (@IamXxxyz) February 16, 2019
What are international students doing on THON weekends?
- CSSA officer Pulin Yu is waiting for the update on progress because CSSA is involved in the activity and it is responsible for organizing Chinese students who participated. pic.twitter.com/8iW1h6p9nr
THON in full stride
9:54am #COMMthon2019 Jared Otto, a junior on the Rules and Regulations Committee, enjoys dressing up for theme days because “it brings up the mood and each persons’s happiness levels.” pic.twitter.com/w0uFdqviFY— Allison Rambler (@allison_rambler) February 16, 2019
3:30 a.m. Penn State senior Emily Morrison plays a toss and trivia game during a THON history tour for dancers. #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/iYlwARxCLB— Claire Going (@claire_going) February 16, 2019
Participants at THON are powering through their first night by dancing along to the 2019 THON dance #COMMTHON2019 11:50PM pic.twitter.com/OlOnAEJtAV— caitlin bowman (@caitbowman97) February 16, 2019
11:48 p.m. Independent dancers Chelsea Bunner and Megan Reece personalized the phrases on the back of their shirt to honor their grandmothers. “[My grandmother] used to sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to all of us,” Reece said. “Sunshine will always be part of my life.” #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/uiCWTZ2gUM— Lauren Lee (@lauren_llee) February 16, 2019
Friday afternoon: Launch Time
Remembering the roots of THON
7:46 p.m. Four Diamonds co-founder Charles Millard said “looking out [at the crowd] is what I look forward to. It’s not about the money they raise, it’s the enthusiasm they have.” #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/H43ZirZ9Xp— Lauren Lee (@lauren_llee) February 16, 2019
6:13 p.m. Dancer Relations Captains lead the crowd the THON 2019 line dance #COMMthon2019 pic.twitter.com/o93lnDDQde— Lauren Lee (@lauren_llee) February 15, 2019
Will Denney just moments before he starts dancing for 46 hours at THON 2019 where he’ll spend his hours dancing all around the BJC as he wasn’t picked to be a dancer on the floor. Can’t be stopped! #commthon2019 #THON #6abcFTK pic.twitter.com/s84FZrfK5R— Nik Rose (@NFR_10) February 16, 2019
Preparation: Choosing the right accessories for THON
This weekend senior Gabrielle Houser will be spending her first, and last THON as a dancer for her organization, NSSLHA (National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association).
After a rough fall semester, she is looking forward to an uplifting experience during her 46 hours this spring in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last semester, Houser and her family suffered two deaths in the family – her grandmother, DeLoris Houser, and her cousin, Ryan Clark. After mourning their losses, she decided she wanted to make a positive impact in her final semester at Penn State.
She will be wearing a special necklace given to her from her grandmother, which features her grandmother’s name in hieroglyphics. Houser never thought she would find herself dancing in THON, but said she is excited, and very nervous, at the same time. She said some of her biggest fears are the pain of standing, and no sleep will cause her to have a mental breakdown on the floor of the BJC.
Her parents and little brother, PJ, will be visiting from New Jersey to support Houser and help her to sustain her motivation throughout the long weekend.
Timeline: THON 2019 in social media
Just One More
Although the focus during THON is on what's happening on the main floor of the Bryce Jordan Center, some of the most special things happen behind the scenes. Photographer Juan Duran documented one of these moments Saturday evening as Owen Bonn, 5, a THON child from Boiling Springs, Pa., holds his ears to prevent hearing noise from Coach James Franklin during THON's Explorers Program.
More pictures in this photo gallery: The Best Images of THON 2019