100 Reasons Why We Dance
(Editors note: In celebration of 100 Days’Til THON, this post appears as it did when originally published last year.)
Earlier this week, we published a list of the 100 Reasons Why We Still Are Penn State. One of the most incredible reasons is THON, with over 15,000 students participating in the ubiquitous philanthropy every year. With THON only 100 days away on February 15, we bring to you a list of the 100 reasons why the organization means so much to so many people. These are truly the reasons “Why We Dance” — all for the kids!
1. For the kids who are fighting the battle…
2. …and for those who have passed away.
3. Learning the Line Dance all weekend…
4. …and having it stuck in your head for weeks and weeks after.
5. Water gun fights with the kids, and the smiles that follow.
6. 15,000 people Berney-ing at the same time
7. Giant Jenga in the middle of the night.
8. The Go Go Gadjet performance, which never disappoints, year after year.
9. The delusional dancers at hour 42.
10. Grilled cheese sandwiches in the BJC.
11. The awesome designs shaved into guys’ heads.
12. Wigs for Kids.
13. The bravery of Chris Millard.
14. Coaches like Pat Chambers who help us fight for a cure.
15. The “We Are…” chants in the BJC
16. The bustling stands during the early morning hours.
17. Ohana fish hats…
18. …and fuzzy pink Atlas hats.
19. The ridiculous costumes…
20. …and the clever committee names.
21. Running the FT5K.
22. The Family Carnival.
23. The sweet merchandise, especially when Jay Paterno wears it.
24. The theme and logo reveals.
25. Sharing the THON message to family, friends, and strangers…
26. …and canning across the mid-Atlantic inspiring more strangers.
27. Penn State Wish Program.
28. The BJC at full capacity.
29. Color wars.
30. New friends that become family.
31. More than 100 million dollars raised since 1973.
32. Harvest Day.
33. Hershey Medical Center ranked #40 in treating pediatric cancer…
34. …and the staff that makes it happen.
35. The new children’s hospital in Hershey.
36. “I don’t just want to survive. I want to live.” – Nick Pantalone.
37. The man Barry Bram.
38. Tucker Haas on the mic.
39. The numerous mini-THONs established and the universities that have started their own dance marathons.
40. DJ Larry Moore.
41. Crying in front of all of your friends.
42. Sunday morning “Hey Jude” sing-a-long.
43. “Your love is my love,” “we found love,” and “Don’t stop Believin’”
44. Slides of Strength.
45. Piggyback rides and massages.
46. Tennis balls, beach balls, and bouncy balls.
47. Dancer Mail…
48. …and Family Hour.
(Via Eric Weiss)
49. THON children who have beat cancer and return to THON.
50. From set-up to tear-down.
51. Khloe Kardashian and other celebrities who share the THON mission.
52. Sending out THONvelopes.
53. The total reveal.
54. The committees…
55. …and the organizations.
56. The fraternities and sororities.
57. Fanny packs.
58. The Final 4 Hours.
59. The balloons falling down at the end (or before, depending on how much the BJC is rockin’ out).
60. When the dancers stand up…
(via Eric Weiss)
61. …and when the dancers sit down.
62. All of the amazing donors who help make THON happen.
63. The incredible work put in by the Overall Committee.
64. 24/7 loop service.
65. Quarter zips.
66. That first moment you step in the BJC during your first THON Weekend.
67. Showing what Penn State is all about.
68. Never sleeping.
69. Giving families an escape if just for a weekend.
70. The smile on a child’s face.
71. Cleaning tomato paste out of cans and scrubbing mats on hands and knees.
72. Will Martin’s gorgeous smile.
73. Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, and Strength.
74. The Four Diamonds movie…
75. …and “Why We Dance: The Story of THON”
76. The 100 days picture.
77. Throwing our diamonds in the air
78. Kids’ Mail Call.
79. Inspire Tomorrow’s Miracles.
80. The pep rally…
81. …and the talent show
82. Every single person who donates to THON.
83. The Hope Express.
84. Teen Nights.
85. Captains in Training.
86. Saving families money on treatments, providing new equipment, and permitting better research.
87. Colors, colors, everywhere.
88. Dancing with the kids every second.
89. Joining our commonwealth comrades in the fight.
90. The party/live-stream at Hershey Medical Center for the kids too sick to come to the BJC.
91. Bill O’Brien buying the top-earning dancers football season tickets, after only being coach for a month.
92. AJ Bobby, Chrstina Furister, Hunter Meese, Mac Kretz, Noah Mummert, Ashley Otstott, Dominique Bigler, Jennifer Bailey, Megan Eslinger, Rylee Dorer, Brandon Loose, Gabrielle Chapman, Kaitlyn Good, Natalie Biancone, and Teddy Morton.
93. Adyson Machemer, Colby Hoch, Ian Hochberger, Maddie Hill, Owen Marsico, Ashley Turban, Eli Sidler, Jeremy Foust, Michael Kipphorn, Suzanna Conley, Bryan Weinsheimer, Lakeisha Camacho/De la Cruz, Karlie Nolt, Nick Madden, and Tony Espinoza.
94. Alexia Barnett, Collin Kratzer, Isaac Heidlebaugh, Madison Garrigan, Quinn Miller-Smith, Austin Lightner, Elizabeth Buerke, Joey Setlock, Michael Woods, Sydney Bush, Bryce Carter, Lauren Schildt, Katie Eavenson, Nick Tafel, and Trent Golden.
95. Alison Keim, Colten Buckley, Jake Waldron, Madison Hurley, Ray Demmy, Aryton Cavanelli, Ellen Smith, Jordan Lee Waldenberger, Molly Brixius, Taye Dairo, Bryona Hamilton, Lindsay Smith, Kaylahni Laboy, Tyler Derr, and Xavier Colon.
96. Andrew Creasy, Corban Potter, Janae Holmes, Mario Ouardi, Rebecca Allen, Morgan Fern, Bella Rinier, Emily Whitehead, Josiah Graybill, Taylor Bradley, Caleb Cook, Logan Knaper, Kenzie Robertson, and Tyler Truex.
97. Ashley Fazekas, Courtney Jarrett-Beiber, Jedediah Smith, Mason Smith, Renata Negley, Beth Carey, Felicia Rupp, Kaitlin Buser, Morgen Johnson, Taylor Mahoney, Caleb Deckman, Lynn Brobst, Will Doron, and Kimberly Hess.
98. For the greatest and most inspirational 46 hours of our lives.
99. For The Kids
100. For The Cure
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions moved up in the rankings for the first time this season.
McClary committed the day after the 2023 White Out.
“It was raining and it was still filling up to the brim in the stadium. Their energy is infectious. And I love them and I appreciate all they do for us.”