100 Things Valley Loves About THON

Photo by Maria Crisafuli

It’s hard to believe that in just 100 days, we will once again be standing for 46 hours in the Bryce Jordan Center next to our friends, loved ones and classmates— all united by the same cause. Though we have not yet discovered the cure for pediatric cancer, we will dance every year for the cure while looking forward to the year where we will dance in celebration.

It may not seem like it sometimes, but everyone here at Valley are students just like you. And like many other Penn State students out there, we hold THON near and dear to our hearts. So, to celebrate 100 Days Til THON, Valley is sharing with all of you 100 wonderful things we love about it.

1. “I love the amount of pride everyone has for THON, especially on ‘100 Days Till Thon.'” -Aly O’Donnell

2. “I love that we give kids hope.” -Carolyn Lanza

3. We love the collaboration between organizations.

4. “I love that we are making a difference.” -Carolyn Lanza

5. “I love that we can all come together as a whole to make an incredible difference in the lives of so many.” -Kimberly Winters

6. We love the bags under our eyes after getting only 6 hours of sleep all weekend.

7. “I love how much of themselves that everybody gives for this cause.” -Kacie Iwasyk

8. We love supporting our friends who have sacrificed 46 hours of sleep to dance.

9. “I love the energy in the BJC during THON. There’s nothing like it.” -Danielle Gallo

10. We love canvassing.

11.”I love that so many Penn State students are so passionate about giving back to the community.” -Carolyn Lanza

12. “I love the kids fighting, it’s all for them.” -Lindsey Buckmeier

13. We love the lifelong friends we make along the way.

14. “I love that we as a Penn State community are truly making a difference.” – Kim Hutchison

15.”I love dancing alongside my friends and fifteen thousand other Penn State students in the stands.” -Alexis Komatsu

16. We love staying up to count all the money we collected after a long day of canning instead of going right to sleep.

17. “I love that Penn State becomes so much more than a school.” -Anna James

18. We love the Four Diamonds story by the Four Diamonds Fund founder’s son, Chris Millard.

19. “I love that THON unites everyone at Penn State.” -Kasey Lam

20. “I love the connection you feel with everyone in the BJC during THON weekend. I’ll never forget the end of THON when everyone was crying, then dancing and celebrating together. It made me feel like Penn State was one big family.” -Meghan Reinhardt

21. We love getting THONvelopes back after spending hours putting them together and sending them out.

22. “I love the amount of people that can come together for the same cause, no matter their differences.” -Natalia Tyndall

23. We love the alumni who donate so much even though they’ve given so much to THON already.

24. “I love being silly with the kids and soaking them head to toe with water guns!” -Jennifer Meyers

25. I love seeing the faces of the families and children at THON when they we reveal the final amount.” -Kacie Iwasyk

26. We love the fact that Penn State has such a big network that nearly every corner of the world is supportive of THON.

27. “I love our THON kids. They are my heroes. Their smiles are contagious and knowing I helped to put those giant grins on their faces makes the 46 hours of standing SO unbelievably worth it!” -Steph Distasio

28. We love that through our combined efforts, we’ve raised $127 million since THON began in 1973.

29. “I love that I go to a school that loves to give back and that students here are more than happy to sacrifice their time to do something bigger than themselves.” -Meghan Reinhardt

30. “I love that THON provides a platform for social awareness at Penn State.” -Kasey Lam

31. We love everyone’s crazy high socks.

32. “I love that THON gives the families a weekend to forget their journey with cancer and just have fun.” -Dana Singer

33. We love all the big, colorful letters each organization brings.

34. “I love the kids that run around the BJC squirting people with water guns!” -Aly O’Donnell

35. We love being on Press Row and being able to cover all the cool things that happen every minute of THON.

36. “I love seeing the pure joy on the kids faces when they walk in the THON fashion show.” -Jillian Acri

37. We love the ~ on point ~ playlist they come up with every year.

38. “I love blowing bubbles, shooting water guns and just feeling like a kid again.” -Sarah Shamloo

39. “I love that Penn State pride translates as seamlessly into THON as it does all other things on this campus.” – Amanda Hunt

40. “I love the new friends you make while supporting the kids. I’ve met some incredible people through meetings, canning, and standing in the BJC those final hours.” -Kate Perkins

41. We love that the dancers commit to giving up caffeine to train for THON months before it even starts.

42. We love the family carnival.

43. “I love linking arms with the whole BJC during family hour.” -Margaret O’Brien

44. “I love that we’re raising serious awareness of the dangers of pediatric cancer.” -Emily Keifline

45. “I love that everyone dresses in bright colors and crazy costumes to put a smile on kids faces.” -Jillian Acri

46.”I love doing the line dance every hour during THON.” -Meghan Reinhardt

47. “I love the music!” – Margaret O’Brien

48. “I love seeing our school unite over one cause because THON connects all of us together.” -Sarah Shamloo

49.”I love the line dance and being able to memorize it after only a few hours.” -Katie McFadden

50.”I love how the BJC is a sea of different colors coming together as a big family for the same reason, the kids!” -Brittney

51. “I love raising millions of dollars to combat pediatric cancer.” -Meghan Reinhardt

52. “I love the giant Jenga.” -Margaret O’Brien

53. “That students come together to support an amazing cause.” – Sabrina Evans

54. “I love family hour and how you get so close to strangers around you because you bond over the family stories.” -Natalie Schneck

55. “I love crying with my committee and org members because we have accomplished amazing things together that all lead up to the reveal.” -Sydney Bair

56. “All the crazy colors and outfits!” -Sabrina Evans

57. “I love color wars.” -Margaret O’Brien

58. “I love the communal atmosphere!” – Simone Greene

59. “I love getting excited when you have finally nailed doing the line dance.” -Sydney Bair

60. “I love doing the past line dances during the final four and then doing the current year’s line dance. It’s so fun and keeps everyone’s spirits high!” -Natalie Schneck 

61. “I love waiting outside in line in the freezing snow just to get a chance to see the final four.” -Sydney Bair

62. “I love chanting and cheering with my org!” -Samantha Lassen

63. “I love that THON is the biggest student run philanthropy in the world.” -Meghan Reinhardt

64. “I love the people who have the courage to be THON dancers.” -Aly O’Donnell

65.”I love waking up the day after THON and realizing what just happened.” -Celine Ridgway

66. We love the first time the dancers stand.

67. We love the events leading up to THON.

68. “I love that it’s the only time it is acceptable to eat Dip ‘n Dots at 4 a.m. and then again at 10 p.m.” -Gaby Baum

69. “I love that people all over the country (and even other parts of the world) know about THON.” -Aly O’Donnell

70. We love the awesome apparel and sporting that apparel all year round.

71. “I love the overwhelming feeling in the very first moment you walk into the BJC on THON Weekend.” -Taylor Scheese

72. “I love being able to spend 46 straight hours with some of the most inspiring, courageous, and strong individuals I’ve ever met in my life.” -Kimberly Winters

73. We love fanny packs!

74. “I love the amount of energy and excitement everyone has in the final four hours.” -Rachel Slusaw

75. We love how so many college students give up weekends of partying for such a great cause.

76. “I love that I get act like a kid again!” -Gaby Baum

77. “I love seeing campus superstars like coaches, athletes, and the nittany lion goof around like little kids.” -Kate Perkins

78. “I love that THON gives me the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with my organization’s THON family.” – Amanda Hunt

79. “I love that everyone puts their differences aside for a common goal.” -Rachel Slusaw

80. We love how even though our feet are killing us, we’re having so much fun that we can ignore the pain.

81. I love that we become a community that fights for something bigger than ourselves.” -Brenna Nicosia

82. “I love seeing students cheer each other on during the THON 5k.” -Meghan Reinhardt

83. We love not needing caffeine to keep up going because the energy of everyone else around us does the job.

84. “I love that THON insights social consciousness.”

85. “I love being surrounded by caring, amazing people who give up their weekends to raise money for children with cancer.  It’s such a great experience to stand in the crowd as a whole and watch how our efforts affect those who need it.” – Megan Wesley

86. “I love the happiness that fills the room THON weekend. There are smiles are everyone’s faces and you can’t help but actually feel the emotion in the room.”  -Allie DeBor

87. We love the theme reveal at homecoming every year.

88. We especially love the 2015 theme: “Empower the Dreamers!”

89. “I love that it makes us, as students, feel as though we are  part of something much bigger here at Penn State.” -Alexis Tomacruz

90. “I love that THON brings smiles to so many kid’s faces.” -Kayla Sredni

91. We love the chicken finger baskets.

92. “I love the energy in the BJC THON weekend and knowing you’re truly making a difference.” -Emily Keifline

93. “I love the talent show and being able to watch serious athletes become silly.” -Katie McFadden

94. We love seeing THON families come together for some fun rather than for another doctor’s appointment.

95. “I love how THON humbles even the toughest people.” – Dana Singer

96. We love not being able to sleep after THON because of how amped we still are after it’s all over.

97. “I love how the alumni want to stay involved by donating or running the 5k!” -Margaret O’Brien

98. We love the professors who cancel classes on the Friday of THON weekend.

99. We love coming together as a community no matter how different we all are.

100. And last but certainly not least, we love the kids!

FTK, always.