The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

THON Soars To A New Record

Mitchell Carson
THON’s total

 Penn State hit the dance floor as Penn State Harrisburg and the other surrounding Penn State campuses went up to University Park for the annual THON celebration. THON is an annual event held every February at The Bryce Jordan Center as the campuses choose dancers to raise money to help end pediatric cancer. The mission is to give families emotional and financial support. THON focuses on raising awareness and garnering funding for research. All of it goes into a pursuit for a cure. 

The event is a 46 hour dance marathon. For the 46 hours, dancers are not allowed to sit or sleep. The dancers and crowds enjoy music and listen to the bands perform. The main focus is on the Four Diamonds families, who share their journey with cancer while expressing hope and happiness with being a part of THON’s pursuit for a cure. 

Mackenzie Marker serves as president for Penn State Harrisburg’s THON committee. She joined THON after being inspired by the difference the organization makes on people’s lives. 

“After experiencing THON last year I was really inspired by the difference that we made. I was just a member last year and decided that I want to be more involved. I decided, why not go for the big ticket, I guess you can say, and I was like I want to go for Overall Chair,” Marker explained. 

“That’s what I wanted and I have been having a lot of fun. THON to me is being part of a community, finding that sense of belonging. I wanted to make a difference and be part of something where I felt like I belonged. I made friends through THON. It’s part of being something bigger than myself,” she added. 

Being a dancer for THON is an experience of a lifetime. As the dancers dance the weekend away, they learn about the meaning of THON along with families they are helping. PSH THON dancers Ethan Cordova, Maggie Scicchinato, Chelsy Sippora Funebe and Clara Baker enjoyed being a part  of the dance for the cause. 

“Being a THON dancer is very exciting but also very intimidating. You have one task and it is to stand for 46 hours straight. That’s a daunting task physically and mentally. But THON does give you a lot of resources and they focus on having fun. For me, I had fun,” Cordova stated. 

“Being a THON dancer is quite honestly the hardest thing that I have ever done. There was a lot of pain, there’s a lot of tears but there’s also a lot of joy. Being a THON dancer to me has to do with really why you are there and not how you are feeling while you are there,” Scicchinato said. 

“It’s really a good time, but you got to remember why you are there. You are there to raise money for pediatric cancer, research, treatment and emotional support. You are there to support pediatric cancer patients and their families. It’s not about you, it’s about the kids,” she added. 

“Being a THON dancer was an honor and a privilege. When we danced it wasn’t an easy task. We were dancing for 46 hours, which is us standing against pediatric cancer,” Funebe stated.  

“It is an honor to be a THON dancer. It is very fun and exciting. There is a lot going on over that weekend. However, it is very difficult. It was probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done. It takes a lot of mental strength and energy to push through, especially the last few hours. We are reminded of the purpose why we are standing and the purpose of why we are feeling the pain and it’s so rewarding at the end of it. It’s worth it, the cause is worth it,” Baker explained. 

Participants see THON as a great cause and gives them an opportunity to experience it for themselves. 

“THON to me is being part of a community finding that sense of belonging. I made friends through THON and to me it’s something you can’t find without looking for it. It’s not about my friendships, it’s about being there for the kids,” Marker stated. 

“THON to me is helping others anyway you can. Whether it’s raising money, spending time with them, help[ing] make them laugh, I feel just like helping others is what THON is,” Cordova said. 

“THON means so much to me. I have really found a community and family here. I have so many great friends because of THON. THON means to me that I am part of something bigger than myself. I think once you find your space in something like THON, you feel you are making an impact on the community,” Scicchinato explained. 

“THON means to me kids getting a chance to be kids. At a young age they don’t have to think about health issues. Giving kids the chance to just be kids and live their lives is why I THON,” Funebe stated. 

“THON means the world to me. It helps promote a cause I’m very passionate about, I had family members who have been affected by cancer and it really does change the world in a sense. Being part of THON gives me so much life because I know there is so much purpose behind it. You meet people along the way that just add sunshine and life into you everyday. THON has become family to me, it’s not just a club, it’s not just a money goal to reach towards. It has become a lifestyle and addition to the things I really love.” Baker stated.  

PSH THON dancers and co advisors Maggie Sciccchianto, Patti Wrightstone, Ethan Cordova, Clara Baker Cheesy Sippora Funebe and Holly Maitland McKenna (THON Committee) 
Crowds dance the time away (Mitchell Carson) 

This year Penn State Harrisburg raised a total of $26,175.33. The grand total raised for THON this year was $16,955,683.63, beating last year’s record of $15,006,132.46. As always, It’s For The Kids! 

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