Campus Comes Together for THON

Students and staff from the Brandywine campus showed their Penn State spirit with an enthusiastic turnout at this year's 46-hour Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), held February 18-20 at the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park. More than two dozen students attended the event. Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska was also part of the contingent, clad in the same bright green t-shirt worn by everyone in the group.

Freshmen Alexis Cicala and Amanda Rasley represented the campus as two of the more than 700 dancers on the floor. 

"Forty-six hours on my feet was nothing compared to the chemo and treatments children with cancer have to go through," Cicala said. "I will never forget when the total was revealed and Tucker Haas, a child with cancer whom Amanda and I know, cried and hugged everyone around him. For such a young child he knew how much a million was. It wasn't a dollar or two, it was nine million. Those tears in his eyes made it all worth it."

This year's THON raised a record $9,563,016.09 for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, exceeding last year's total by $1.7 million, and Brandywine's fundraising efforts contributed more than $12,000 to the outstanding success. Throughout the year, Brandywine students collected money on "canning" weekends, held a spaghetti dinner and auction and sold "Kandy and Kisses" for THON. Director of Student Affairs Matthew Shupp allowed his head to be shaved in a "Save it or Shave it" event that raised hundreds of dollars.

THON, started in 1973, has raised more than $78 million in the fight against pediatric cancer.

(Photo courtesy of Lauren Jerla)