I was back in the Bryce Jordan Center bright and early today for the last several hours of THON 2014. From an emotional family hour, to an energy filled final hour the the building was at capacity with dancers on their feet through the aches and pains. After 46 hours they sat, but only for minutes before they jumped up to celebrate this years grand total of over $13 million! FOR THE KIDS!
After high school wrestling I was back to THON. I met up with some of the Four Diamonds families as they toured the Lasch Football building as part of an event with the Make-A-Wish foundation. The kids darted around the locker room trying on equipment and Spider sent a warm message to all in the room. As I walked into the BJC about 22 hours into the event the building was rocking, as usual. After I edited the first group of photos and got some dinner I decided to head back for the late night fun. I knew the images wouldn’t make it in to print, but we rarely cover the pep rally and I was looking for more photos to continue adding to my gallery. I bumped into one of our local youngsters who has battled cancer, and laughed captured her antics. Then came the friendly dance off competition full of 90’s tunes, flips and entertainment from the sports teams and Blue Band.
One of the biggest weekends in Happy Valley has arrived. It’s THON 2014 weekend!
Each year thousands of Penn State students spend their free time raising money through events, canning weekends, letters and more to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund. The Four Diamonds Fund helps families with the costs of pediatric cancer. The THON fundraising year celebrates with a 46 hour dance marathon, were over 700 students stay on their feet for an entire weekend to dance for a cure. The event grows every year, from those involved, to those who know about it, to the money raised.
Today the big event started off with the arrival of the Hope Express, a group of runners who journeyed from the Hershey Medical Center were many of the pediatric cancer patients are, to State College. They ran 140 miles and all night to connect those at the hospital and those in the Bryce Jordan Center.
The dancers entered the Bryce Jordan Center to cheers through the human tunnel. Dancers met their friends, Four Diamond families, and stretched before the 6 pm stand time. The overall committee counted down to STAND UP and the fun started right away. Dancing, squirt gun battles, bubbles and more.
Then came learning the line dance. The song that will be performed throughout the weekend sums up current events in the last year, with a message to keep the dancers moving and why the event it so important.