There are many ways to define a miracle. Miracles can be big and small. They can be complex or they can be simple. They can be remembered or they can be forgotten.
The Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is all about miracles. From when a child receives an hour-long session of music therapy, to hearing they are five years cancer free, we see miracles every single day. It is these miracles that motivate THON’s volunteers to work harder and longer — to keep dancing.
This year, the THON and Four Diamonds community has had many reasons to celebrate. This past September, we celebrated the Four Diamonds Fund’s 40th Anniversary. Forty year’s ago, Charles and Irma Millard created a movement that has now grown into an organization that has supported thousands of children and families batting cancer. A few months later, we celebrated the dedication of the brand new state-of-the-art Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
THON served as a $10 million dollar donor to the hospital – the second largest. We now have physical evidence in the form of a new hospital that we are making a difference. Each Four Diamonds family and child can be guaranteed the best care and treatment possible.
These achievements, these miracles, are worth celebrating. At the same time, THON strives to do more.
We look to inspire the miracles of tomorrow. As we continue to fundraise and promote pediatric cancer awareness, we also look to fund innovative research and experiential therapeutics.
It is through the work of researchers and doctors at Penn State Hershey Medical Center that will find a cure to pediatric cancer. Inspiration is the fuel of the THON community.
We are inspired by the courage, honesty, wisdom and strength of the children and families.
In turn, the efforts of THON volunteers inspire others to join our fight. It is this cycle of inspiration that makes THON so special. We will continue to inspire the world.
This weekend thousands of Penn State students, alumni, supporters, friends and family will pack the Bryce Jordan Center.
THON Weekend is a time when Penn State becomes a family. Students from various organizations, committees, and groups come together as one. Alumni, some who have danced or participated in THON as a student, return to campus to celebrate and show their support.
All of us have a different story of how THON has impacted our outlook on life and our involvement in philanthropy.
But at the end of the day, we all have the same goal, the same mission — to conquer pediatric cancer. I encourage everyone to visit the Bryce Jordan Center and dance with us.
I encourage you to learn the line dance, meet a new family, dance to the music, tweet and post pictures, live and breathe the magic of THON. It is one of the most moving weekends.
THON is here. THON is now. THON is every day, hour, and minute.
Thank you for everyone who has had a part in making THON the greatest organizations in the world.
I hope to see you at the Bryce Jordan Center as we Inspire Tomorrow’s Miracles.
Will Martin is a senior majoring in communication, sciences and disorders and is The THON overall chairman. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.