As the countdown to THON dwindles down with mere days to go, many students and local residents are revving up their efforts for one final push for donations and awareness before the 46-hour event kicks off.
On Monday, THON Special Events and Evolve Studio teamed up once again to host their fifth-annual “No Hair, Don’t Care” fundraiser inside of the HUB. A donation of $10 or more to THON enabled students and faculty to sit down and let one of Evolve’s hairdressers shave their heads, with many students requesting THON-related designs and crazy hair dye colors to support the cause with even more passion and flair.
After four years and plenty of success at Evolve’s own Beaver Ave. location, this year was the first time that the event was held on campus. Special Event co-captains Jess DeRita and Katie Frager hoped to see even more students pour into Heritage Hall to take part in the initiative.
“We were excited to be able to bring this event closer to the students,” said DeRita, a junior who participated in THON through the Dancer Relations committee over the past two years. “The symbolism behind people cutting off their hair to support cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is really powerful and beautiful. Three girls even shaved their heads last year.”
The event has generated a lot of interest from local and university celebrities alike with appearances from athletes, coaches, and administrators over the years. This year was no different, as Penn State basketball head coach Pat Chambers and baseball manager Rob Cooper both stopped by to get a trim.
— Rob Cooper (@16RobCooper) February 13, 2017
“It puts everything in perspective, I think,” Chambers said. “I coach basketball; I don’t cure diseases.
With two healthy children of his own, Coach Chambers wants to aid in the fight to cure those who’ve suffered from pediatric cancer. “This is on a whole other level of importance to be able to make a donation to help these kids and their families who are battling,” Chambers said. “You want to help anyway you can, whenever you can. I felt that it was extremely important for myself and some of our guys to take some time out for something more meaningful.”
With no basketball for the men’s or women’s teams this weekend, Chambers is excited to have the chance to be in town to cheer on the various participants at THON and maybe even have a little fun of his own. “I’m excited to support those volunteers, dancers, children, and their families this weekend,” Chambers said. “If I get up there I’ll have to make sure I’m bringing the fire, the energy, that juice and hopefully I can help them to keep going.”
In the past, Chambers has taken his players to the Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey to visit with kids, some of whom are part of the Four Diamonds program. The head coach also mentioned that he had a feeling his players might dance, though he disclaimed that he ‘had no idea what kind of dancers they were’ and that he ‘wasn’t responsible if they are horrible.’
Despite not hosting the event this year, the professional hairdressers with Evolve Studio were ecstatic for the opportunity to volunteer their services for the charity event. Ellie Siegert, a stylist who joined Evole two years ago, loves how avid the community and the university are about working hard to make THON what it is today.
“Hair means a lot to people, otherwise I would have no livelihood,” Siegert said. “To see people sacrifice their hair to show support for pediatric cancer patients going through chemo is so humbling. It’s been great to see the students who have asked for the styles and the different hair dye colors. I’m sure everyone will appreciate them this weekend.”
With THON quickly approaching, feel free to check out its website for more information on this week’s event schedule. We dance in 3!