February 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM
Morale committee member Kenny McAndress said THON was the reason he came to Penn State.
As the sophomore glanced around the Bryce Jordan Center, he said now that the 46-hour dance marathon was here, he was speechless.
When asked what THON meant to him, McAndress highlighted the kids that THON benefits.
“I just love seeing the smiling faces on the kids the entire weekend,” McAndress said. “This is their one weekend away. It's their break from cancer for a weekend and that's what this weekend is all about.”
McAndress also said that the money raised for the Four Diamonds Fund at Hershey Medical Center is incredible, but he said you cannot put a price on what the kids get out of THON weekend.
While McAndress is a part of the Morale committee, which is in charge of keeping the 710 dancers motivated throughout the event, senior Lauren Lahann faces the task of standing for all 46 hours.
Lahann, who is dancing for the business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, said her emotions are a mixture of nervousness and excitement.
Lahann was a Morale committee member last year and said she will have to deal with being the focus this year rather than helping the dancers.
“It's going to be a little bit weird for me that everybody's here to make me feel better,” Lahann said. “I might struggle with that at the beginning.”
Lahann said the physical aspect will be the biggest challenge for her this weekend, not just because of the struggle of standing for a prolonged period of time, but because she sprained her ankle six weeks ago.
A doctor cleared Lahann to dance on the ankle that she sprained when she fell while walking around campus in the snowy conditions, but she is sporting a brace. Lahann said she will be able to face the challenge because of the multiple supporters she has that will carry her to the finish, if need be.
Like Lahann, senior Joe Knittel is dancing for Alpha Kappa Psi. Knittel said he is nervous for the dance marathon, but the kids he is dancing for help him put things into perspective.
“[It's] quite a task that I have in front of me, but just comparing it to what a lot of these kids go through on a daily basis, if you think about that, it doesn't seem so hard.”