As the Penn State DuBois dancers continue to rest up after their 46 hour effort at THON, the totals are being calculated. So far, DuBois has $24,234 in contributions to THON 2018's university-wide total of $10,151,663. Final break down of campus contributions will be confirmed later in the week.
Alaina Shaffer of Clearfield, Brynn Morgan of Grampian, and Julia Test of Curwensville all made it through the entire dance marathon, each staying on their feet for the whole 46 hour stretch from Friday until Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was well worth it," Shaffer said. "I met some amazing people and grew even closer to Brynn and Julia. I will be forever grateful for this experience."
Test added, "THON was the most amazing experience that I have ever had, seeing thousands of people join forces to volunteer towards one common goal; support and find a cure for pediatric cancer. In the divided society we live in, seeing these different people come together in peace and harmony for 46 hours was indescribable, a pure joy to be a part of."
Test also explained how the THON slogan, "For the Kids", was apparent everywhere during the weekend, and provided limitless motivation to make it through. She said, "Alaina, Brynn, and I all had times we felt defeated, but we pulled through. I had the biggest eye opener of my life during the weekend, we were watching the Four Diamonds children during the talent show. My feet were aching and I was exhausted, then out of nowhere, I was crying and couldn't stop. Here I was, about 28 hours into the weekend in so much pain, but there were these children performing for thousands who stand with them and for them. They have been through so much. My pain was nothing compared to theirs and their smiles made every ache worth it. Those tears made me realize how great this organization is, we stand for them, for their future, so they can discover tomorrows wonders."
Morgan recalled, "Walking into the BJC through the human tunnel at the start of THON weekend was incredible. Thousands of strangers cheering me on before the start of our 46 hour dance marathon was truly inspiring. It got very tough during times, but with all of the support from my friends and family, as well as our DuBois THON organization, they all kept me motivated and reminded me why I was there. 'For the Kids'. THON weekend has truly been the most inspiring and blessed times for me and I am truly honored I was able to represent DuBois."
Students who volunteer with THON raise funds in various ways throughout the academic year. They host dinners, hold fund drives, and organize an annual hair auction, where volunteers get their haircut if bidders can reach a reserve they've set during the auction.
THON is the world's largest student-run philanthropic event. It raises millions of dollars each year benefiting Four Diamonds. A leader in the fight against pediatric cancer, Four Diamonds fills in the funding gaps that insurance leaves for the patients it serves, enabling families to focus on caring for their child. Additionally, THON's support allows Penn State Hershey Hospital to recruit world-class talent to continue innovative research, and to maintain and expand the state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital. THON began in 1973, when dancers raised just over $2,000.