46 hours of THON 2013: A multimedia blog | Friday

Story posted February 15, 2013 in THON 2013 by Penn State College of Communications.

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

Rookie dancer

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

About the Contributors

Matthew Stainthorpe's photo

Matthew Stainthorpe

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Matthew is a knowledgeable, comical and charismatic personality who has a love for sports, and experience doing play-by -plays, talk shows, color commentary, board ops, highlight edits, being a host for different shows and reporting stories. His goal is to become the
play-by-play announcer for the Villanova Wildcats basketball team.

mikeedler's photo


Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Born and raised in North Bergen, New Jersey. Mike Edler is a broadcast journalism major with minors in kinesiology and sociology. Mike is a brother at the Pi Sigma chapter of the Zeta Psi fraternity of North America and wants to be NFL analyst for ESPN in the future.

Tyler Estright's photo

Tyler Estright

2013 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

Tyler Estright is an aspiring broadcaster and media relations specialist with a passion for sports media and background in kinesiology. He’s been involved in many aspects of media including broadcasting, reporting, media relations, editing and producing.

Eric Feinstein's photo

Eric Feinstein

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

I am a senior Broadcast Journalism major at Penn State University planning to graduate in May 2013. I am pursuing a career as a television producer in sports or news. I have interned with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic in Bethesda, Maryland and the sports department at NBC 4 WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. In my senior year at Penn State, I was a producer and reporter for the Centre County Report, a weekly student newscast aired to 29 counties in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, I was a reporter, videographer, and anchor at PSN-TV, a student-run television station. In addition, I produced Penn State Sports Night, a bi-weekly sports talk show. I am skilled with HD cameras, Final Cut Pro, iNews, ENPS, Pro Tools, and Hindenburg. You can follow me on Twitter at @ericjfeinstein.

Amanda McGranaghan's photo

Amanda McGranaghan

2013 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

I have goals to be an entertainment reporter or correspondent for Access Hollywood, E! or MTV. Working in radio have perfected my interview skills that will help me be successful in gaining good interviews as well as great stories. While I also love the broadcast field, I have a serious passion for fashion and would also love to do reporting for show on the Style Network as well.

Timothy Schoen's photo

Timothy Schoen

2013 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

Through my course work and professional opportunities, I believe I have the skills, talent and experience necessary to excel in the communications/media field.  While I have a great passion for sports reporting, pursing a full-time position in corporate communications and/or sports media and sports information are target opportunities for me.  My training as a writer and in broadcast media will allow me to effectively undertake these tasks.


Sarah Peters's photo

Sarah Peters

2013 Graduate / Print Journalism and Political Science

Sarah has reported for The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper, since her freshman year. Through the Penn State Washington Program, she interned with The Hill newspaper, which covers the federal government, in the fall semester of her junior year. Sarah freelances for The Express-Times, where she also interned in the news division during the summer of 2012.

Elise Brown's photo

Elise Brown

2013 Graduate / Agricultural and Extension Education, Agricultural Communication (B.S.)

Elise earned her Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communication from Purdue University in May 2011 and graduates with her Master of Science degree in agricultural and Extension education in August 2013. Her graduate research focuses on the way newspaper articles report issues surrounding Marcellus Shale gas drilling and development in Pennsylvania. She has had numerous internship experiences in news writing, public affairs and radio. Beginning in May 2013, she will serve as the communications director for the Conservation Technology Information Center in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Iris Peters's photo

Iris Peters

2013 Graduate / Print Journalism

Iris is a senior majoring in print journalism.  She has had multiple internships that show her interests as a writer. She has interned with ESPN Radio of State College, covering football and basketball games for both Penn State and high schools in the area.  She also has worked with College Athletics Clips, a website that brings all collegiate sports news to college athletic directors and their staff around the country. As a assistant clips editor she wrote executive summaries and wrote her own opinion stories.  Iris plans on pursuing a career in sports journalism, but her interests do not end there. She wrote for Town and Gown Magazine where she covered topics from all sides of the spectrum including health and wellness stories, event stories and profile stories. She hopes to continue writing for magazines after graduating in the spring.

Ryan Kudla's photo

Ryan Kudla

2013 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

Upon graduation I plan on getting my masters in kinesiology.