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DASH President Dora Courtney Leads Org As THON 2023 Dancer

Dora Courtney, a senior meteorology major, not only became the president of the THON special interest organization DASH this year, but she also danced her heart out this past weekend.

Courtney got a taste of being both a leader and dancer during THON 2023. She has been involved with THON for over a decade, thanks to her Central Pennsylvania ties, and has shown her true dedication to its mission.

“I started my THON experience in sixth grade where we did Mini-THONs,” Courtney said. “We did six hours [dancing] in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. When we went to high school it was 12 hours, so it was an overnight thing. That was really cool, and it was my first taste of what THON really is.”

Once she learned the full Four Diamonds story, Courtney fell in love with THON and was a part of her school’s Mini-THON club throughout high school.

“When I decided to go to Penn State, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of THON there,” Courtney said. “I remember my freshmen year, my roommate and I were walking around the Involvement Fair and the first org we came across was DASH. We were both completely attached to it. It was this group of really loving, fun people that invited us in. They talked about how it’s a small org for fundraising for THON and we were sold.”

Courtesy of Dora Courtney

After her first DASH meeting, Courtney immediately set her mind on continuing to be involved in both THON and DASH throughout her college career. Come junior year of college, Courtney took on the role of online donor chair for DASH after serving as a dedicated member for two years.

“They kind of needed someone to step up as president this year since there wasn’t too much interest,” Courtney said. “I decided to do it just because I figured I was qualified, I knew what I was doing, and I thought I would bring the passion and the heart.”

Naturally, Courtney secured the gig as president of DASH and continued to fundraise and spread awareness toward the childhood cancer cause.

“We focus on the love and community that we create around it,” Courtney said. “We also focus on our org members understanding the importance of THON and what we do specifically as a fundraising org. I have a lot of pride in what my executive board has been able to do.”

Courtesy of Dora Courtney

Although DASH has only been around for less than a decade, Courtney has been able to use her prior THON experience to make the club her own by putting an endless about of effort into its mission and values.

“One of our big selling points for DASH is that it is small,” Courtney said. “You can create such a loving community and family around it and that’s just something really important that I’ve been able to recognize about DASH as an org. It’s something I’ve always appreciated throughout my THON journey and college.”

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your tips, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @evan.halfen or email: [email protected]

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