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My Moraler & Me

Throughout the weekend, everybody had their own tips on how to stay motivated, stay dancing and stay sane.  Some people thought the best way to stay awake was embarking on a 1000-word crossword puzzle while others provided piggy-back rides across the floor.  No matter the hour or the activity, the dancers had to keep their minds off the lack of sleep slowly setting in.

One of the dancers on the floor, Molly Garraway, had no idea what she had coming when she was assigned her Moraler, Max McKeon.  Max, told Molly that she will not be getting tired with his “wonderful face around,” as he puts it.

“I thought it was the lack of sleep that was going to get to me, but no. It’s this guy,” Molly says gesturing to Max.

Talking with the Dancer/Moraler combination shed some light on what a Moraler is expected to do as well as what their Dancer would like him to do.  Molly initially blamed Max for breaking the yo-yo he had brought her on his first shift, but forgave him due to excessive enthusiasm that kept her spirits high.

Molly danced as one of the representatives of the Sapphire Leadership Program, an organization for those interested in business within the Smeal College of Business. Last year, she worked on the Rules & Regulations committee, but this year is excited to be representing her org on the dance floor.

Max and Molly continually fed off each others energy, keeping each other going.  Max said, “I’m there when she needs it; the second she said something about being drowsy I was immediately ready to keep her dancing.”

Over the weekend, Dancer Molly and Moraler Max were married at the customary wedding portrait on the floor.  The ceremony was complete with a one-knee proposal finished off with raspberry Ring Pops.

“It’s a lot of fun to pump-up the dancers; Moralers are high-intensity and we’re here to be going crazy to keep them going,” Max said.

Even though Molly and Max had only met two weeks prior to THON, they both agreed that “it has felt like a lifetime,” but maybe that’s because Max insists on screwing up her sense of time to keep her on her toes.

“So, it’s what like 11 or so Friday night, right?” Max jokes to Molly before he leaves his last shift before the final hours.

This is just a glimpse at the bond formed between two strangers in the THON community as a Morale/Dancer pairing.  No matter if it was the dinosaur hat, a pack of Playdough or even the plastic flute that Max gave Molly throughout the weekend, nothing was more important than the gift of some extra energy.

Molly wanted to do this as a way to push herself mentally for the 46 hours. “This is a lot bigger than me,” she says with a smile.

No matter if you were observing from the stands or on the floor yourself, attendees at THON 2011 could feel the love in the room.  Max and Molly knew that they are just two people dancing along with thousands for their THON family.

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