15,000 Standing Tall, For Our Heroes Big and Small

I am still having trouble finding words for this past weekend. One of my favorite quotes about THON is, “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, from the inside looking out you can’t explain it,” It is so hard to put into words exactly what THON weekend is. To try to explain it simply; it is the culmination of months of hard word ending with a 46 hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon but it is much more than that. No matter how much money we raise THON has something special because of the relationships that we have with the Four Diamonds Families. No matter what we do, the families are always at the heart of it. THON Weekend gives the kids and their families a chance to forget about what they are going through and just have fun. These kids look forward to this like they look

15,000 people pack the BJC to join together in the fight against pediatric cancer!

forward to Christmas or their Birthday. They count down the days and talk about it all year because to them this weekend can’t compare to anything in the world and Penn State students feel the same way. I know that from 3 years in THON I have learned more about myself, working with others and what it really means to give back than I could have anywhere else.  Because of THON, The Four Diamonds Fund and the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, there have been huge strides in cancer research so that someday Penn State will play an instrumental part in finding a cure for cancer.

It is so hard to put into words what everyone was feeling when that total went up. Everyone was definitely nervous if we could break the 9.5 million from last year. We were out a canning weekend due to weather and it was definitely a tough year for Penn State so we really didn’t know what to expect. We had high hopes but we were definitely prepared to not see a huge increase. I was on the floor when the final total went up and it was definitely a feeling unlike any other. To hear that we broke 10 million was absolutely astounding and to raise over a million more than last year after everything that has happened this year, I think made everyone extremely proud to be a Penn Stater! There were tears and hugs but for the most part I think everyone was just speechless. No other University in the world can say that they have done something this amazing and I know every single person in the BJC couldn’t be happier to be part of such an unbelievable moment.

I could not be more proud of the year that Abington THON has had. At one point during Family Hour last weekend I remember looking up into the stands and looking at all the Abington THONers and couldn’t help but smile through my tears because I could see the family that THON has formed. It was during Family Hour that I think everyone had the realization as to why we work so hard. Abington did an absolutely amazing this year! They raised an astonishing $41,695.96 and jumped from 8th place among the commonwealth campuses to 4th! I’m so proud and honored to have had the opportunity to be the chair of this organization! It was a year that I will remember for the rest of my life and I can’t thank everyone who took part in it enough!

Forever & Always, FTK,
-Jill

Abington THON’s Totals Over the Years:

2004- $6269.99
2005- $8536.53
2006- $14,465.14
2007- $11,238.17
2008- $16,271.09
2009- $24,308.13
2010- $21,738.68
2011- $22,737.28
2012- $41, 695.96

Abington THON has raised $167,260.97 for THON since 2004!

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