MONACA —Penn State Beaver students are taking to the floor at the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park to represent the campus in the university’s annual THON.
Seniors Kylee Arms and Hunter Spisak will dance from 4 p.m. Friday until 4 p.m. Sunday in a 46-hour dance marathon. THON is a student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. The mission is to provide emotional and financial support, spread awareness and ensure funding for critical research in the pursuit of a cure.
Arms and Spisak were part of THON last year, helping to raise money for the Beaver campus team and attending the dance marathon as “moralers” to help keep dancers Hailey Burbage and Marissa Bufalini going through the grueling weekend.
This year they will be relying on their fellow students for support.
What made them volunteer to dance this year?
“The biggest thing that made us take a bigger leap this year was attending THON last year,” Spisak, a marketing and management major, said. “It’s something that is very vivid still in my memory. We met families and heard their stories.”
“Attending THON last year was a big eye opener,” Arms said. “I don’t think people understand how impactful the last four hours of THON are, hearing from families. It’s hopeful, but sad at the same time. It makes you motivated to help more.”
Are they nervous about having to dance for 46 hours?
“Absolutely,” Spisak said. “I had my ankle reconstructed three years ago. I’m terrified.”
Arms, who is a psychology major, said she is nervous about exhaustion setting in early and having to push through.
The pair said they have been given lots of advice and tips from THON and from Bufalini, who chaired this year’s THON committee for the campus.
“There was definitely more involvement on campus this year,” Bufalini said. “I’m very excited for next year. I hope this encourages more undergraduates to get involved … We need people to step up for next year.”
Bufalini said she’s happy Arms and Spisak agreed to dance. “I can’t think of a better pair to represent Beaver this week,” she said.
The THON team from Penn State Beaver who will be there to encourage Arms and Spisak are Bufalini, Marissa King, Maddy Shoaf, Katy Walcott, Alex D’itri, Kailey George and Ally Pinchot.
As of Feb. 19, Penn State Beaver’s THON team had raised $14,000. There’s still time to donate. Anyone who wants to make a donation can go to https://donate.thon.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=1891.