By Katie Breneman-
Canning, fund raising, opening ceremonies dancing and the closing ceremony have one thing in common.
Thon is a cancer fundraiser held every year at Penn State University. It is 46 hours long, and volunteers round it up to two days.
It is a fundraiser to support those who have had, and the families of those who died, from cancer. Thon is a growing organization that previously was a college event but now students at Penn Manor High School have gotten involved as well.
Jordan Drexel, a Penn Manor senior, is one of those students.
“I had leukemia, cancer in the blood. I was diagnosed in the second grade. Fifth grade was the last time I had chemotherapy,” Drexel said.
Thon started on Feb. 18th, and ended with a ceremony. Thon is run through many organizations. Each organization picks somebody that applies for Thon and sponsors them. The organizations raise money to allow a member to dance.
The people who dance are not allowed to know what time it is. They have to stay awake and dance the entire time. There was a pep rally on Sunday, February 20th. A lot of sports teams and organizations sing or make a skit for the pep rally. There is an ending ceremony. The ending ceremony is when they recognize the people who are being sponsored. On the screen are pictures of the people and what they are doing now. Other slides show people who died from cancer. The ending ceremony is very emotional and gets to a lot of people.
“The ending ceremony is very touching and I actually teared up,” Bryan Buckius, a Penn Manor student admitted.
Thon consists of more than 15,000 Penn State students, and 708 of those students were on the dance floor. Thon raised more this year than last year. In 2010, $7.8 million was raised, and in 2011, $9,563,016.09 was raised for the Four Diamonds Fund.
The canning, fund raising and organizations all contributed to the grand total. The top 5 fundraisers were Altoona raising $89,728.24, Fayette with $86,094.38, New Kensington with $52,392.69, Berks with $48,876.96, and Hazleton with $30,694.09.
Drexel was a part of Thon in 2010.
“The Four Diamonds fund helped us financially a lot,” Jordan Drexel said.
One college changes the lives of so many during Thon!