THON 2007 For The Kids!

This has absolutely positively nothing to do with wedding planning. But it's a blog...and I can pretty much say whatever I want because isn't that the point of blogs?

Not that this isn't a good thing to write about or to tell people about :) which is why I'm posting it.

Almost 4 years ago I transferred from Virginia Tech to Penn State...this is where you all say...and the point is? Well I was determined to make friends and to get involved in Penn State the way I was at VT, knowing very well I was starting way behind and would only be there for 2 years before I graduated, instead of the typical 4. My first endeavor in being involved and making friends was joining the Health Policy and Administration Club. There I made friends...Fefe, Roy, Mri Mri, all people I've mentioned in this blog and other blogs I've had throughout the years. And being so determined to be involved, Fefe somehow convinved me to go stand in the cold, for many many hours, with a can in my hand outside of wal-mart and on street corners....good idea? probably not...but I did it anyway and had no idea what I was doing it for.

I'd heard of Penn State Dance Marathon. It was on the local news when I was in high school (since I grew up not far from Penn State). But I didn't really understand what it was or how much Penn State is all about it. Seeing it was a big deal though, I jumped into THON a little farther and joined the Rules and Regulations committee. Once again, I had no idea. But there I made friends as well...namely the lovely BD (and when I get to the point of this story, you'll hear more about BD).

So I was raising money for THON through HPA, through my R&R committee and having a good old time doing it! Then came the time to pick dancers, HPA picked the 4 top fundraisers, the rest of us continued fundraising up until THON weekend and I kept getting ready with my R&R committee, and every weekend learning a little more, seeing how much work everyone puts into this one weekend, and how huge it really is. When we toured the BJC before THON weekend I was amazed at all the places we had to use, the different hallways and backstage rooms we had to use for storage, people to go, games to set up, etc. etc. etc. It was ridiculous. Then about 2 weeks before THON, 1 of our HPA dancers came down with pneumonia! And Fefe approached me and asked me if I wanted to dance. I had never been to THON, what I had seen was just a lot of backstage things and had no idea how this was all going to come together. But I agreed and 2 weeks later, this is me, about to embark on dancing in THON. 
This was in the very beginning of THON, when it had just kicked off. So let me back track a bit and tell you what THON is..

THON is a 46 hour, no sitting, no sleeping, dance marathon at Penn State. In the years it has become known as the largest student run philanthropy in the world, raising millions of dollars for the Four Diamonds Fund at Hershey Medical Center. The Four Diamonds Fund helps support children at Hershey who have been diagnosed with cancer. They not only help the kids, but their families as well, and support research to find a cure for pediatric cancer. The little girl in the picture was the HPA Club's THON child that we supported throughout the year, Aiyana. We would send her and her family cards, pictures, and toys, and then at THON they came to visit and hang out with us for the weekend. So I danced, and played with kids and sang, and jumped around for 46 hours. There were times all I could think about doing was just sitting down. My feet hurt, my back hurt, I was sleepy, but none of that can compare to what these kids go through. They were quite the inspiration that kept me going for the 46 hours at my first THON and dancing in THON. Crazyyy. We raised over $5 million that year and it was an amazing experience.
So since then I feel like THON has grown and grown. The next year I was the HPA Club Thon chair and helped raise more money than ever for the HPA Club for THON. I kept many of those friends I made in my first year at Penn State through the clubs and things I did, almost all of them related to THON.

So fast forward to today, celebrities like Khloe Kardashian are even helping out THON. THON 2010 was this past weekend and they had the best year ever, raising over $7.8 million for the kids at Hershey! My dear friend BD even had the chance to dance! I'm so proud of her and she did wonderful! I wish I could have been there to see her, but I watched all weekend long on the THON webcam. It's just so great, now that I know what THON is and what it does, to think I was a part of all of this. Standing in the cold in December with a can in my hand, I had no idea what a difference I was making and who I was helping. Now that I know, I think in some way, even if it's just donating a few dollars, I'll always be involved in THON. Here's a pic of me, L on the left and BD on the right, back in 2007, while she was doing her rules and regs job and I was dancing away! This is still the beginning, there are pictures of me later at THON hanging on to BD for dear life to take some weight off of my feet and looking like I may just pass out standing up on top of her haha but we're not going to post that on here ;) haha

I'm so glad I got to be a part of THON and make such good friends that I am still friends with today :) Love you all :) FTK<3

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