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Siblings Mike And Kathryn Hoover Will Have 46 Family Hours While Dancing In THON

Family hour is an emotional part of THON for everyone in the BJC, but for Kathryn and Mike Hoover, all 46 hours will be family hours as the brother and sister duo were both granted the opportunity to dance in THON.

Of the 708 dancers who will be on the floor, the Hoovers are the second set of siblings we’ve come across. From Ephrata, Penn., both Kathryn and Mike are slated to graduate this year, Kathryn in December and Mike in May. Kathryn, an Early Childhood and Early Adolescent Education major, will represent Kappa Phi on the floor while Mike, a fifth-year in the Integrated MAcc Program with a dual major in Finance, was chosen as a dancer for Smeal Student Mentors after his org was selected in the lottery.

“[One] afternoon, my sister and I grabbed lunch together and the email came through that I had gotten to dance while we were at lunch together,” Mike said. “It was so surreal!”

Both Kathryn and Mike were involved in THON before even coming to Penn State, an easy decision for the duo after their father graduated from the University in 1985 and their parents got engaged on campus. While involved in their high school’s Mini-THON, Kathryn had the opportunity to go on the floor before even committing to Penn State, and knew she wanted to dance ever since.

“My favorite THON memory was going to my first THON,” Kathryn said. “I was a junior in high school, actively involved in my school’s Mini-THON. We came to Penn State and went on the floor, and boy was it an experience. When I got on the floor and saw the big cause that this was for, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to dance so that I could make a difference in one child’s life.”

Mike and Kathryn Hoover

Since coming to Penn State, both siblings’ involvements in THON have only increased. Kathryn served as the THON chair for Kappa Phi for two years before taking on the responsibility of Family Relations Chair for the org. Also actively involved since his freshman year, Mike’s primary engagement has been with the Smeal Student Mentors via canning, alternate fundraising opportunities, and supporting friends who danced in years prior. When it comes to supporting each other, however, the Hoovers have been helping one another throughout the year when it comes to THON.

“Both of us being THON chairs this year has been great, as we’ve been each other’s support system,” Mike said. “Just sending one another reminders or asking questions about items has been so helpful.”

Both Kathryn and Mike are preparing for the big weekend by cutting back on caffeine, eating healthy, and going to the gym, but come THON weekend dancers are going to need every ounce of support they can get. In addition to having each other, the siblings are expecting a visit on the floor from their parents some point during the 46 hours and are looking forward to the opportunity to experience THON as a family.

In addition to parents, dancers typically have their Dancer Relations committee member as well as visits from friends and members of their org, but both Mike and Kathryn admit having someone who knows them so well will add the energy they need to keep going.

“I am so excited to be dancing with [Mike] in THON because I know he will be another support that I will have for THON,” Kathryn said. “My brother gets me like no other, so whether I am in a good mood or out of it at THON I know I can go to him for anything. We can support each other for THON and this energy will help us on and off the dance floor.”

Just hearing Mike and Kathryn talk about both THON and one another, it’s clear the opportunity means a lot to them, and getting to experience it with someone so close to them makes the journey that much more special and unique.

“My sister knows me really well, so that will be a huge help both emotionally and physically on the floor,” Mike said. “She’ll be my rock during the 46 hours and we’ll both know what each other needs to keep going. Plus, just being on the floor with her, dancing, and doing the various activities will be such a great experience.”

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About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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