“Adventure Awaits” and in less than 100 days Penn State will be well into THON weekend. Nov. 7 was the beginning of the big countdown to THON and it did not happen without a huge celebration.
100 Days captain, Maeve Heneghan, a senior majoring in hospitality management, talks about the changes in 100 Days this year.
“Something that is new this year now is that [100 Days] is now picked in the spring. This event is usually planned over three months, but now it is planned over six months which really allowed us to expand the event and develop the theme of ‘Adventure Awaits,’” says Heneghan.
She also talks about the choice of the theme ‘Adventure Awaits,’ saying that “THON is really and truly a year-long celebration and it is always a new adventure — every day is a new adventure and every day is a new chance to make a difference in the life of a child.”
THON committees, captains, directors and organizations all prepared to make the 100 Days ‘Til THON celebration something that would be unforgettable. The HUB was decorated in light blue and green balloons adding up to over 5,000 balloons displayed throughout the building.
Last year, the “One Day We Will Dance In Celebration” campaign set out to put a number on the amount of money raised. This was the campaign’s first year and the goal was set at $100,000. Penn State exceeded the goal and raised $292,877.11.
This year, the goal was $300,000. The THON community transcended this goal, raising $512,518.36 For The Kids. The total reveal was the last event of the day. Before that, students took part in a group picture on Old Main Lawn and spelled out the word, “UNITE.”
Unite is a word that has such power — this word was specifically chosen as a way to show that whether you are celebrating 100 Days at Penn State, Penn State Children’s Hospital or somewhere else around the world, we are all united around the same cause. Penn State unites to fight the battle of childhood cancer every day. As a university, we unite to work together to find a cure. We unite as friends, family, supporters and students for one weekend each year. We unite for 46 hours of standing, dancing, laughing and crying all together as one.
Other events of the day included Hair Donation, Penn State’s Best Dance Crew, a family speaker, alternative fundraisers and the line dance.
“It is really just a time for the community to come together and celebrate all of the work that we’ve done so far for THON while we also celebrate all the work there is to come,” Heneghan says.
The theme for THON 2019 is “Shape the Moment” and it definitely came across at 100 Days according to Heneghan. “I think when planning an event, you really have the power to create a moment and create a lot of little moments in one day which is something we tried to incorporate with 100 Days.”
99 days until the dancing begins!