This past weekend marked the 44th Penn State Dance Marathon. During this time, the members of the PRSSA THON committee went to the Bryce Jordan Center in anticipation of their yearlong fundraising efforts. THON is the weekend where, for 46 hours, volunteers get to see their hard work come together.
After the members entered the BJC for the first time that weekend, they stood together in support of this year’s dancers and THON chairs – Carolyn Cushwa and Morisa Young.
With the addition of new members to the committee this year, many were excited to experience THON for the first time. Everyone was excited to learn the line dance, help each other stretch, dance together and most importantly, hang out with their THON child, Emily Whitehead.
Emily is 11 years old and currently four years cancers free. All of the members enjoy spending time with her and seeing her mature the years. This year at THON, she stood for a majority of the weekend both in the stands and on the floor with Cushwa and Young. She even had the opportunity to participate in Slides of Strength, an event where dancers can get off their feet for a couple seconds by sliding into baby powder and receiving a ten second massage, when she was on the floor.
Emily enjoyed being on the floor and spent most of her time soaking everyone with water bottles. She even made a makeshift water gun by poking holes in the cap of her water bottle. Needless to say, a lot of people had to change clothes after she left.
In addition, one of last year’s PRSSA THON chairs and 2016 Penn State alum, Amanda Hunt, was able to visit Cushwa and Young on the floor and join PRSSA members in the stands. Her visit along with Emily’s helped motivate the two dancers to push through the pain.
Overall, Penn State students raised $10,045,478.44 for the Four Diamonds, the sole beneficiary of THON, which helps ensure that over 3,700 families never have to see a medical bill and can therefore focus solely on the health of their child.
We are so proud of all of our members both in the stands and on the floor who took part in THON this year. Their efforts did not go unnoticed, especially as they now head into planning for THON 2018.
For The Kids!