46 Hours And Counting: THON 2016 Kicks Off
A year’s worth of alternative fundraisers, THONvelope drives, benefit performances, and spaghetti dinners for the kids led up to this moment: where 708 dancers stood up to kick off THON 2016 weekend in the Bryce Jordan Center. They’ll keep standing till 4:00 p.m. on Sunday after 46 hours of dancing.
A packed BJC welcomed dancers to this year’s festivities with a massive human tunnel and enough high fives to last a lifetime. The pre-THON show included performances from the ROTC Honor Guard Trick Squad, Ambitions, and the African Student Association.
During the show, Four Diamonds co-founder Charles Millard took the stage in front of a full BJC. THON 2016 marks Millard’s thirty-ninth year at the dance marathon. Even after all of this time, Millard is still extremely grateful to what the dancers do each year. “I want to shake the hands of every dancer on the floor,” Millard said. “I want to thank all of you for what you’re doing.”
Shortly before 6:00 p.m., the THON 2016 Executive Committee took the stage. Executive Director Katie Mailey asked the whole Bryce Jordan Center, “Are you ready to believe beyond boundaries?”
After that, the entire BJC counted down the final ten seconds before THON 2016. Then, all 708 dancers stood.
THON 2015 raised more than $13 million for the fight against pediatric cancer. That money went to THON’s sole beneficiary, the Four Diamonds fund: an organization that supports the children in active treatment at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and their families while also funding cancer research.
Here’s to the next 46 hours, Penn State! Just remember, keep on dancing.