More than 2,000 THON enthusiasts joined together last night to cheer on fellow committee members and await the crowning of Mr. and Mrs. THON 2014.
Eisenhower Auditorium was anything but quiet as the Mr. and Mrs. THON 2014 Pageant took place in order to raise money for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
As 28 contestants took the stage, one male and one female participant represented each of the 14 different THON committees.
With the help of Family Relations Captain Aly Young, Four Diamonds children Bryan and Braydan Weinsheimer hosted the pageant as they introduced every new act and entertained the audience themselves as they performed a hula-hoop routine.
Committee captain pairs performed a variety of talents for the first portion of the pageant from a balloon battle by the merchandise committee, an original THON song written by the public relations committee and a humorous baking show rendition by the morale committee.
Shortly after showing off their talents, each contestant dressed up fellow THON volunteers in a variety of different things such as hard hats, feathered boas and foam fingers to explain to the judges how the disorganized ensemble represented his or her specific committee.
Giving the judges — 2013 Homecoming Queen Rhonda Bates, Homecoming Executive Director Bobby Walter, Men’s Hockey Captain Tommy Olczyk and B94.5 radio station Program Director P.J. Mullen — an opportunity to tally up their votes, Jack and Tiffany Weinsheimer of Lancaster, Pa.shared their son Bryan’s story of battling pediatric cancer.
Before becoming a Four Diamonds family, Tiffany Weinsheimer said she never knew what “FTK” stood for.
“Now these kids look up to you guys,” Weinsheimer said. “The Penn State students stand by us.”
After the judges tallied up their scores, three Mr. and Mrs. THON finalists were decided.
The competition quickly became narrowed down to Tyler Bank as Mr. Rules and Regulations, Chris Carmody as Mr. Public Relations and Steven Fundaro as Mr. Entertainment.
The top three Mrs. THON finalists were Gabby Tollok as Mrs. Rules and Regulations, Lindsay Bloom as Mrs. Entertainment and Cara Wojciechowsi as Mrs. Family Relations.
The final six competitors were then asked a series of questions ranging from what their favorite dance moves were to what it means to be a THON volunteer and what it would mean to be Mr. or Mrs. THON.
After questions were answered and the THON executive committee performed their own talent to “What Would the Fox Say?”, the winners were eventually announced.
Mr. Rules and Regulations Tyler Bank and Mrs. Entertainment Lindsay Bloom took the crown as Mr. and Mrs. THON 2014.
“We have to think about the kids first,” Bank told judges prior to winning the pageant. “We always do as much as we can because kids and families go through one of the most difficult situations ever.”
The most important aspect of being Mrs. THON is the opportunity to represent the largest philanthropy in the world, Bloom said when asked what becoming Mrs. THON would mean to her.
“It is an honor,” she said. “Hopefully one day we can spread [awareness] throughout the world.”
Gabriella Santoliquito can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 865-1828. Follow her on Twitter at @gmsanto3.