Friday, February 22, 2008

For The Kids

Tonight at 6:00 PM students start what has become the greatest tradition ever established at the dear old Pennsylvania State University: the 35th Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon or THON for short.

Students, alumni and families will come together at the Bryce Jordan Center for a 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, which allots money to families with children battling cancer. Last year Thon raised a record total of $5.2 million, breaking the 2006 record by more than $1 million.

Thon's Raise the Curtain tradition, which was started last year, will continue this weekend. Raise the Curtain is an initiative to fill the lower seats of the BJC, so the curtain surrounding the upper level seats will have to be raised to accommodate more spectators.

For the spectators that will fill those seats, Mike Petrasek (senior-journalism), the overall public relations chairman, has some advice.

"If [students are] trying to get on the floor ... get there early because sometimes the floor does close even if they have a pass," Petrasek said.

Petrasek suggests all students visit Thon at some point before it ends on Sunday.

"We really encourage all students to come out," Petrasek said. "It's one of Penn State's greatest traditions, and it should be on the list of things to do before you graduate, even if you only come for five minutes."

I've been there and I've watched the last hour via the intertubes and it is truly an uplifting experience. This is one weekend I'm extremely proud to have close ties to Penn State.

Go State, beat cancer!


Jen said...

I danced in 1990. Truly one of the highlights of my college years. If you get a chance to dance, do it. You won't forget it.

Galen said...


I know several people that have danced in it and they all say the same thing.