[Live Coverage] Penn State THON 2012

Welcome to Onward State’s coverage of THON 2012. Follow along here for everything going on in the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend.

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Sunday, February 19

4:05 p.m. Wow. That’s really the only thing we have to say here. Please check out our final post for the details on THON 2012, including our record-breaking $10+ annual amount to support the Four Diamonds fund.

3:54 p.m. The THON Overall Committee leads the final line dance of THON 2012.

3:30 p.m. After “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, DJ Larry Moore calls the morale captains to the stage one final time. 30 minutes left of THON 2012.

3:25 p.m. Go Go finishes their set after bringing Tucker Haas and friends on stage to perform “Party Rock Anthem” with them.

3:14 p.m. Go Go Gadget is literally rocking the BJC as the dancers have less than an hour left to go!

2:32 p.m. The stage is being set up. Go Go Gadget should be coming on any time now!

1:54 p.m. After Vinnie is done speaking, the “Celebration Of Life” video is played showing all the children who lost their fight with cancer.

1:44 p.m. Vinnie and Ashley Carrano, siblings of Lauren Carrano, are the final speakers at Family Hour. Vinnie is dancing in memory of his sister Lauren for Penn State Schuylkill this year.

1:37 p.m. Carrie Myers and Aubrey Minnaugh, friends since pre-school who both were diagnosed with cancer as children, are now on the stage speaking about their experience.

1:17 p.m. Family Relations Overall Kaylee Tully is now announcing all Four Diamonds families who are in attendance at THON this weekend.

1:06 p.m. The Charlie Beecher family is up next. His father thanks Penn State students for saving his son’s life and announces that Charlie has been cancer-free for 15 months. He makes sure the crowd knows that “THON is Penn State!”. He goes on to thank Dr. Anthony Greiner, saying he is the most caring person the Beecher’s have ever known. Mr. Beecher goes on to tell listeners why he needed each of the four diamonds to get through the treatment of his son, Charlie.

12:58 p.m. First up is the Bryce Carter family. She starts off by thanking the Millard family for starting the Four Diamonds Fund and then moves onto the social workers at Penn State Hershey and the Penn State students, especially club cross-country who sponsors the Carters. Story started in November 2010 with leg pain and Bryce was diagnosed a few months later. He had surgery in May 2011 but has since had surgery and is healing everyday.

12:56 p.m. And now the official start to Family Hour. If you haven’t gotten your tissues yet, run.

12:45 p.m. The “Where Are They Now” video is now playing, showing former Four Diamonds children that have survived pediatric cancer. Let the water works begin.

12:09 p.m. The last 5 years of line dances will now be performed, starting with 2007.

12:07 p.m. “If you live to be 100 years old, what you’ve done in the past days, weeks, months will echo for eternity.” – Jay Paterno.

12:04 p.m. “When they [news trucks] want to see what leadership and courage is, let them come to THON” – Jay Paterno

Noon: Jay Paterno is now taking the stage to speak.

11:40 The band “Gates Tomorrow” is performing their mic-check and should be performing within minutes!

11:16 a.m. Kate Weston, who covered “Never Alone” to help with charitable efforts attached to THON, came all the way from Los Angeles to perform on the THON stage.

10:58 a.m. Cora Beyer is ending the show with the Taylor Swift favorite “Speak Now”.

10:55 a.m. The McCraken girls, Katie and Addie, are performing flute and violin ensembles. Very impressive.

10:50 a.m. Max and Evey Kirby are performing a Penn State favorite, “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

10:45 a.m. Jenae Holmes is dancing to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.

10:41 a.m. Kaitlyn Good, a child from one of the Ohana families, performs the Justin Bieber hit “Baby”.

10:37 a.m. Donovan Cope is dancing to “Sexy And I Know It” for all the ladies in the crowd.

10:32 a.m. Josiah Graybill will be performing a dialogue which seems to be about paint. Wondering where this might go…

10:27 a.m. Ashley and Dani Olstott are performing “When I Look To The Sky” in honor of all the Four Diamonds children who have lost their fights with pediatric cancer.

10:24 a.m. Ella and Jacob Trimble are on stage to give the dancers and spectators some comic relief.

10:13 a.m. Jan Stoffer, the music coordinator at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and her troupe of musical tykes are setting up for their instrumental performance on stage. They’re doing a Four Diamonds remix of “Walking on Sunshine”.

10:09 a.m. Following Tucker’s performance is his sister Taylor singing “When I Look At You” by Miley Cyrus. Sounds like Tucker might have some competition for the Haas musician title!

10:03 a.m. The second half of the Variety Show will be led off by Tucker Haas singing “Party Rock Anthem”.

10:00 a.m. The stage is being set up for the second half of the Kids’ Variety Show.

9:56 a.m. Last water social of THON 2012! CHUG CHUG CHUG!

9:40 a.m. The O’Bryan family announced that the “Courtney O’Bryan Memorial Fund” has been established as of this weekend. Its purpose will be for canning safety. A video montage is now being played accompanied with the song “May Angels Lead You In”.

9:36 a.m. The Courtney O’Bryan family is now on stage. Courtney lost her life in a tragic car accident on her way to canning during the second fundraising weekend.

9:27 a.m. Jason O closes out his set with his new single “Goodbye JoePa” which is not available on iTunes.

9:22 a.m. A BJC employee has told us that the doors to the arena have been closed “for the foreseeable future”.

9:13 a.m. Jason O of My Hero Zero fame is now performing for the first time at THON solo. He starts out with a cover of “Rolling in the Deep”.

9:02 a.m. Only trickles of people are being allowed into the BJC now. Doors really should be closing soon as there doesn’t look to be a seat inside.

8:05 a.m. Dave Joyce and the Long Barrels close out their set with a great rendition of “Hey Jude” which even got the THONwardState crew out of their seats to sing along. Photo courtesy of The Daily Collegian‘s Julia Kern.

7:00 a.m. Color Wars has come to a close with Blue winning the title, followed by Green with Red coming in last.

6:36 a.m. Couple of new photo albums for you, folks.

6:15 a.m. The PennHarmonics are bringing their singing talents to the Bryce Jordan Center this morning, telling students that they’d catch a “Grenade” for them.

5:56 a.m. Battle Of The Sexes: Line Dance Edition: Women win again. What a fix, Larry.

5:37 a.m. Fitness instructors are out on the stage to help the dancers stretch out.

4:53 a.m. Miss last night’s Pep Rally? Penn State senior Amanda August has a video of men’s gymnastics’ winning performance:

4:26 a.m. It’s Greek Hour at THON, with the best performances at Greek Sing getting another opportunity to show off their talents.

3:21 a.m. A line dance to get the dancers moving again after reading tons of mail.

2:54 a.m. Onward State illustrator has took in the sights at THON 2012 and came up with these two amazing drawings.


2:50 a.m. Who better to have at Mail Call than Penn State’s favorite mailman, Mike the Mailman!

2:32 a.m. Here is a photo gallery of last night’s Pep Rally which was won by the men’s gymnastics team.

2:09 a.m. Dancer Mail Call is beginning. Time for that boost of inspiration to get dancers through these last hours!

1:47 a.m. OPP is mopping the dance floor in preparation of dancer mail.

Saturday, February 17

11:59 p.m. Total Whiteout has taken the stage to start of Sunday at THON 2012.

11:12 p.m. The winner of this year’s Pep Rally: MEN’S GYMNASTICS! Congrats, guys, you definitely deserve it.

11:05 p.m. The final act of the night is the football team who does a couple of group dances with Mike Wallace dressed up as some sort of Urkel character. I think we have a new Pep Rally champion this year.

11:02 p.m. Always amazing to the acrobatic acts of the men’s gymnastics team. Spinaroonis while dressed up as cowboys for “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” and a three-person chained worm for Rihanna. Fencing, I think we’ve found your first real challenge.

10:58 p.m. Women’s volleyball asks the crowd “What is Love?” Baby, don’t hurt them.

10:56 p.m. Women’s gymnastics dances to “Pop” by N’Sync. Thank you, ladies!

10:52 p.m. Men’s hockey comes out dressed in onesies while dancing to Thriller. Then they just dance with somebody while paying homage to Whitney. #RIPWhitney

10:49 p.m. Men’s lacrosse continues the MJ love with “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” and then continues to “Just Dance” in their pinnies, well except for the guy who dressed up as Madonna.

10:48 p.m. Women’s swimming gets the crowd going with some “Uptown Girl”

10:44 p.m. Men’s swimming gets the crowd going with a Rockette-inspired kicking line at the end of their performance with “Build Me Up Buttercup” playing.

10:41 p.m. Women’s ice hockey “Celebrate[s]” THON with the 70s classic.

10:39 p.m. Men’s soccer picks a partner and dances to “Mambo No. 5” before throwing teammates across the stage during “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

10:35 p.m. The men’s and women’s fencing teams give another Michael Jackson inspired performance with “Billie Jean” before moving on to “Stacy’s Mom”. I think they’re the leaders in the clubhouse with their moonwalks and splits when paying homage to Michael.

10:33 p.m. The softball team “twist and shout” during their performance and then make us feel good with a Michael Jackson tribute.

10:30 p.m. The women’s field hockey team has a 50s inspired performance, dancing to “Do You Love Me?” But hold up, DJ Khaled and Miley Cyrus also make an appearance.

10:26 p.m. The Lionettes have the first performance of the night, dancing to some selected mashups.

10:22 p.m. Mic Man leads the Bryce Jordan Center in chants to get the crowd pumped up for the acts that will be following the cheerleaders and Blue Band performance.

10:19 p.m. THON 2012 Pep Rally host Nick Pantalone has taken the stage. You can read the interview we did with him this week here.

10:14 p.m. We got one last Line Dance before Pep Rally 2012 starts. Doesn’t look like many of the sports groups have it down yet.

10:01 p.m. The cheerleaders have begun to file into the Bryce Jordan Center as the Blue Band plays the traditional Penn State fight songs to start off THON Pep Rally 2012.

9:58 p.m. Doors to the Bryce Jordan Center have been closed as we have reached capacity for the THON Pep Rally which is slated to begin in the next twenty minutes.

9:50 p.m. Hospitality Committee members in going through the stands selling water for $3 a bottle with all proceeds going towards THON. They don’t remember doing it in past years. Just another great fundraising effort to add to the list from this year!

9:21 p.m. Big demand for the THON Pep Rally may result in closures, a Rules and Regulations Committee Captain told us. Right now, Gate A is the only one that’s open. They’re slowly allowing people into the Bryce Jordan Center, but expect to reach capacity soon.

8:51 p.m. There’s a steady flow of Four Diamond children going on stage to get their dancer mail. The BJC appears to be at near capacity as excitement builds for the pep rally, which will be held sometime after 10 o’clock.

8:16 p.m. In case you missed it earlier, the Future Nittany Lion Fashion show allowed many Four Diamonds Children to show off their stuff on the modeling runway.

8:04 p.m. The first half of the “THON Fireworks Variety Show” is over, but the show will resume tomorrow morning when last year’s Youtube sensation Tucker Haas is expected to perform.

8:00 p.m. Sydney and Katie Bush chose some alternate lyrics in their performance of “We Will Rock You.” Instead, they sang “We are, We are, Penn State!”

7:58 p.m. Katie, and Maggie Patterson dedicated their performance of “Over the Rainbow” to Joe Paterno.

7:52 p.m. Keegan Carter impressed even the brainiest student in the audience by reciting π by memory to some absurd decimal place. We’re all lost. 3.1415…..

7:41 p.m. Natasha and Dominique Bigler cover “Livin’ on a Prayer” with the help of the Women’s Chorale group. There’s still a large line of kids lined up to participate in the variety show tonight.

7:37 p.m. A shirtless Bryan Weinsheimer is showing off his hula hooping skills to the crowd. Bryan also has the Four Diamonds logo painted on his back.

7:35 p.m. Katie Rose Johnson, Ana Miller, and Laura Strickler are next up as they sing “Believe in Dreams” by Flyleaf.  The Family Show is always a THON favorite and that certainly hasn’t changed this year.

7:27 p.m. Mariah and Andrew Woods are belting out Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Members from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences are behind the couple dancing along as he sings.

7:22 p.m. The THON Family Variety Show is off to a quick start as Tyler Vicidomini juggles for the crowd to the “Mortal Combat” theme.

7:15 p.m. Another group of Four Diamonds Children are singing “Sexy and I Know It” with brothers from Theta Chi. Some of these kids have some moves!

7:10 p.m. The THON Family Variety Show kicked off with a “Party Rock Anthem” performance from Dylan Moser. Mosser ended his performance by yelling “THANK YOU JOE PA!” and led the crowd in a “We Are…Joe Pa” chant.

6:18 p.m. There’s not much to report right now as most people are just waiting for the Pep Rally later tonight. There is a yoga instruction right now for the dancers, and most seem to be participating and happy to relax as we approach hour 24.

5:38 p.m. Faculty and staff joined the Morale Captains on the stage for the Line Dance. It’s impossible not to laugh at old people doing the Bernie.

5:23 p.m. Here is a new photo gallery from this afternoon, courtesy of Melanie Versaw:

5:04 p.m. Earlier this afternoon, THON OPP had to mop the floor, which required the sea of dancers and moralers to split.

4:52 p.m. The 2012 Homecoming Theme was just announced after a short video presentation at THON: “The Glory Echoes On.”

4:30 p.m. The Homecoming Talent Show winners have taken the stage. The Society of Women Engineers and Theta Chi performed a Super Mario theme dance.

4:11 p.m. We strapped a camera to Morale Captain Shannon Holzer as she did the line dance. Check out the video of what the BJC looks like from her point of view!

3:32 p.m. The line for floor passes wraps from Portal 14 to Portal 3, with an expected wait time of 90 minutes or more.

3:28 p.m. Melanie Versaw captured a gif of dancers “doing the Bernie” during the Line Dance, including our own John Tecce.

3:19 p.m. Dancers are currently going through “fitness stretches”, which resembles something out of P90X. Only about 10% of the dancers appear to be participating.

2:15 p.m. The band “Lowjack” is performing right now for the BJC. They just had a great cover of “Brown Eyed Girl.”

2:03 p.m. The Jordan Center parking lot has been filling up all afternoon, demand that will likely continue through this evening culminating in the pep rally later tonight.

1:34 p.m. Here’s another great photo album from the Four Diamonds Fashion show this afternoon, courtesy of John O’Brien:

1:20 p.m. Cara Wojciechowski is performing a great version of “We Found Love.” She was recently accepted to the Penn School of Music for next year.

12:32 p.m. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader are addressing dancers as part of the “Star Wars Rebel Legion” event. Storms Troopers are posing for pictures on the floor as well, along with various other Star Wars characters. Chewbacca seems to be the biggest attention grabber, for obvious reasons.

12:30 p.m. Here’s a slideshow of photos from the Four Diamonds fashion show.

12:00 p.m. Hour 18 starts of with Justin Beiber. There’s always Hour 19, I suppose.

11:51 a.m. They saved the best for the end, as one of the final kids to take the stage declared that she would make “Dora the Explorer” the mascot of her sports team.

11:39 a.m. Four Diamond Children are still being introduced, but there are certainly a lot of Justin Bieber and Troy Polamalu fans. Best response so far was the kid who said “The Hangover” was his favorite movie. Dynamite by Taio Cruz is by far the most popular song choice as well.

11:27 a.m. The Four Diamonds fashion show is starting, led by the Nittany Lion and a long line for Four Diamonds children. The theme this year is “Future Lions Sporting the Latest Fashions.”

10:54 a.m. Buddy The Elf makes an appearance on stage dancing to “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”. Also spotted in the crowd: Cookie Monster, pink elephant, and Gumby.

10:18 a.m. Either my ears are starting to play tricks on me or I heard some WUB coming from Velveeta’s set.

9:56 a.m. Here’s another slideshow from earlier this morning, courtesy of Melanie Versaw:

9:30 a.m. Velveeta is on the stage bringing you all the 80s hits you never knew you liked!

9:20 a.m. The Mobile PASS System, which was taken offline last night, will resume service later on this morning.

8:22 a.m. Sorry for the lack of updates, folks. All quiet on the THON front. John Cougar is playing now. Or is it John Mellencamp? Or is it John Cougar Mellencamp? I’m not sure.

6:45 a.m. The RAM Squad just did ridiculously unhuman dance moves on the THON stage just now. Thankfully the dancers won’t have to compete with them.


6:29 a.m. Good morning! Here are some of our best photos from the first night of THON that you may have missed when you were (hopefully) sleeping:

6:11 a.m. First Color War results are out. Green is in the lead while Red and Blue are tied for second, or in other words, they’re both in last.

5:42 a.m. ‘My Hero Zero’ still going strong leading the BJC in a sing-along of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things.”

5:28 a.m. Meanwhile, some people would rather play life size Jenga than dance to My Hero Zero’s version of “Animal”.

5:21 a.m. Local band ‘My Hero Zero’ opens up with a gnarly cover of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer”. Time to wake up!

5:04 a.m. It’s time for some “Giant Jenga”! Dancers play a lifesize version of the game Jenga using cardboard boxes. Some of the shorter dancers climb on top of their partners to pull out blocks from the top row.

4:22 a.m. Dancers get off their feet for at least a few seconds during Slides of Strength



4:10 a.m. Just finishing up the 90s singalong. If you don’t believe that the 90s were the best period for music in history, then we might have to go our separate ways.

3:55 a.m. About 15 minutes ago, our own John Tecce had the distinct honor of performing the Line Dance on stage with the moralers and public relations captains.

3:28 a.m. Larry Moore announced the the THON livestream is being viewed all the way from Israel! Mazel Tov!

2:45 a.m. The mobile check-in for the PASS system has been disabled. People hoping to get a pass must check in at Portal 14 and hope their organization’s pass is open when they get to the front of the line. We are working on a story now.

2:25 a.m. Morale captains have descended to the stage for the eighth time so far this THON (I think). Looks like the dancers AND the crowd is finally starting to get the hang of it.

2:06 a.m. The Singing Lions have taken the stage, breaking out into “The O.C.” theme song. Don’t act like you don’t know the words.

1:51 a.m. A gold ribbon has been placed around the Joe Paterno statue to symbolize the fight against pediatric cancer. (Photo by: Patrick Woo)

1:13 a.m. Fred Smoothe and the Midnight Social are covering some classic hits and have everyone at THON singing along to tunes like “Semi-Charmed Life”, “American Girl”, and “All-Star”.

12:25 a.m. Fred Smoothe and the Midnight Social has taken to the stage albeit missing drummer and Onward State visual editor Eric Weiss who is abroad this semester.

12:00 a.m. Coach Bill O’Brien makes his way to the THON stage to address the Dance Marathon for the first time. He says he accepted the job here at Penn State because of people like the dancers of THON because “you [the dancers, spectators, etc.] are Penn State!”

Friday, February 16

11:13 p.m. We’re just now hearing the first Whitney Houston song of the night, ‘Dance With Somebody’.

10:56 p.m. Here’s our collection of some of the best photos from Day 1 of THON:

10:49 p.m. The winner of the inaugeral “THON’s Got Talent” competition is…Joey and Tony! They performed an alternate version of the song ‘Coming Home’.

10:20 p.m. Here’s Table Ten in the midst of one of their rollicking covers that’s kept the crowd energized.

9:58 p.m. The first live band of the night, Table Ten, is doing a sound check on stage. They just performed a reggae version of the Penn State Alma Mater.

9:23 p.m. The first ever “THON’s Got Talent” competition takes the stage, with student acts getting ready to perform in the BJC. We’re also hearing that the PASS line is about 20-30 minutes long. Check-in stations are at gates A and D.

8:58 p.m. Orchesis, Penn State’s oldest dance crew, takes the stage dancing to Mary the Night by Lady Gaga.

8:13 p.m. The Hope Express has made its way to the BJC. Find out more about those who ran the 135 miles from Hershey to State College over the past 24 hours here.

8:06 p.m. For the third time, MORALE CAPTAINS TO THE STAGE! Although the line dance leader’s mic doesn’t seem to be working this time.

7:55 p.m. Another picture of Coach Chambers and the basketball team addressing THON. “To all you dancers out there, just like I tell my team: It’s all about attitude!”

7:38 p.m. Coach Chambers makes it to the stage for his first THON.

7:34 p.m. THON children are on stage playing “Dance Your Hat and Gloves Off” while the dancers play Giant Sudoku and Mad Libs. Also, a very happy birthday to THON children Beth Carey and Cara Logan!

7:02 p.m. Here’s a video of the 2012 THON line dance!

6:30 p.m. Morale Captains are currently teaching the THON 2012 line dance. As expected, it includes Dubstep.


6:01 p.m. From the Dancer Meeting to the Human Tunnel, take a look at how dancers came to the BJC.

6:00 p.m. Dancers are on their feet!

5:32 p.m. Pre-THON has begun with ENTertainment captains explaining the significance of THON being in its 40th year of existence. Dance teams are performing to songs of the different decades that THON has been around for.

5:14 p.m. Charles Millard, co-founder of the Four Diamonds Fund, has made his way to the stage for his 35th Penn State Dance Marathon. After he speaks, the Wilson family is introduced. It is their son Ty’s first THON.

4:46 p.m. Here’s a photoset from the first few hours of pre-THON. We’re just over an hour away from the first line dance!


4:15 p.m. Spectators rush by press row in an attempt to get the best seats for THON.

3:38 p.m. Rules and Regs Committee members are beginning to man their stations as spectators will be allowed in the BJC in around 20 minutes.

3:04 p.m. Lots of sound testing going on right now as OPP makes the final touches. We’ve heard Party Rock Anthem twice already.

2:30 p.m. Organizations have been lining up for an hour and a half now with another hour and a half until doors open.


12:17 p.m. THON has a new stage extension for the talent shows, variety shows, bands, etc. this year. It is a yellow ribbon which is the symbol for pediatric cancer.

11:09 a.m. Onward State has arrived on an otherwise empty press row. We have less than seven hours until dancers stand.

Our Coverage


THON 2012 Posts

General THON Content

THON 101: Committees

Other THON 101: Family HourFocus GroupsThe Glossary, Rookie Mistakes’s Coverage

Top, Onward State’s sister site, will also be posting periodic coverage from the Jordan Center during this THON 2012 weekend.

Other Coverage


We will be posting links to other great coverage of THON 2012 as we find them. Tweet suggestions at us (@THONwardState)!

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