So today begins Penn State's IFC Philanthropic Dance Marathon 2012! AKA THON '12!!! :) I had the pleasure of volunteering for this amazing event in 2010! :) I was on the Rules and Regulations Ginger Squad committee! Unfortunately, I didn't take full advantage of this opportunity at the time and I whole-heartily regret that, but we can't let our past ruin the present and the future, right?! So! I am a full-supporter of THON and everything it represents!
What is THON, you ask? THON is the largest student run philanthropy IN THE WORLD and it is made up of 15,000 student volunteers from Penn State University. THON benefits the Four Diamonds Fund which is a charity that supports families with a child suffering from CANCER! Four Diamonds Families get some of the best medical treatment at Hershey Medical Center located in Hershey, PA. These children need our help and love to fight for their lives.All year, student volunteers work to organize this event and it all leads up to one weekend. THIS WEEKEND! During THON weekend, students gather together at the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) located University Park, PA (AKA Penn State's Main campus).
What happens at the BJC can only be described as amazing. Students stand on their feet for 46 hours dancing to fight this horrible disease. For those of you who are thinking "so what? they're dancing? how does this help the kids?" Well, I was exactly where you are right now 4 years ago. I felt that there was a better way to help these kids. What I learned was that the point of THON weekend is to not only give the kids an amazing experience with Penn State's students, but also to sacrifice all of the things that we take for granted in our lives. We get to be healthy enough to run around and live our busy, chaotic lives. Most of these children suffering from this disease spend way too many days, months, and years in the hospital, and some of them never get the chance to live a normal life. So the weekend is Penn State students' way of sacrificing their time and own comfort to give these kids an amazing experience while also raising an enormous amount of money for their medical treatment but also for research to cure cancer.
It is so hard to describe THON. There aren't enough words to truly portray everything it is and represents. I know that Penn State had A LOT of poor publicity in the Fall, but I ask you to keep the kids as your focus. What surfaced in the Fall isn't what Penn State represents. THON is what Penn State represents and I plead with you to help us fight this disease For The Kids.
Please help Penn State students beat Pediatric Cancer by going to http://www.thon.org/ to donate. GO STATE! BEAT CANCER! FTK!! THON '12
To watch the live feed of THON, go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/penn-state-dance-marathon