Our Staffers Reflect On Their First THON

Going to THON for the first time as a Penn State student is one of the most memorable moments of anyone’s Penn State career. This year, thousands of people, young and old, watched Penn Staters raise $10,151,663.93 For The Kids in another 46 hours of standing, singing, and lots of line dances.

Some of our staffers got to head to the Bryce Jordan Center last weekend to catch THON for the first time ever. As you can imagine, they were struck by the electricity and emotion in the building. Here are their thoughts on the weekend’s events:

Jack Bowman

I’m a junior and I haven’t been able to attend THON for my first two years here. Most THON first-timers are freshmen, so it was interesting going into this year with everything I heard from friends and seen online. I wasn’t expecting to be emotional or really understand anything that was happening, but as soon as all the dancers ran on to the stage, I was overwhelmed with the joy that the Bryce Jordan Center felt. That feeling never lessened for the whole time I was there.

Liam McCall

My first THON experience felt as if it had the same atmosphere as a home football game, but with the element of win-lose uncertainty removed from the equation. It felt great to witness such passion in the fight against pediatric cancer and it’s special to see that much communal spirit.

Cassady Potts

I always participated in my Mini-THON at high school, but nothing could have prepared me for my first THON. It was a little overwhelming because of how loud the BJC was and because there were so many things going on at once. It was amazing to see so many people come together and raise money for pediatric cancer.

Matt Paolizzi

I went into THON with zero expectations. I knew almost nothing about what it would entail, besides how massive it is and the cause it supports. It was a learning experience for me, but I picked up everything quick. I remember during my second shift, about 4 a.m. on Sunday, taking off my glasses to rest my eyes. Leaning back, I looked out from press row with my awful vision and could only make out a mass of people, everyone blurring together from the dancers on the floor to the orgs in the stands. I thought it was a good metaphor for the experience, a mass of people coming together to sacrifice for a greater cause. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Was this your first time at THON? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.