PSU THON sets dancers against cancer

Isaac Gall, Photographer

Have you ever wanted to be a part of an organization that raises millions of dollars every year for childhood cancer? Maybe THON is the thing for you.

According to their website, “THON is a student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. Their mission is to provide emotional and financial support, spread awareness, and ensure funding for critical research—all in pursuit of a cure.”

Student teacher, Mr. Stock, who is working with Bellefonte English teacher Mrs. Jessica Lloyd, played a part in THON this year as a security leader of a single committee, RNR (Rules And Regulations) for Penn State University Park.. This past weekend, he placed THON members where they need to be and told them when their shifts were during the annual THON event held during February 17-19.

THON raised a record amount of money this year, with a final total of  $15,006,132.46. 

According to Mr. Stock, musical performances were way better this year, compared to past year. The main reason is that usually no one really knows the person performing, but this year was different because everyone knew who the famous Hip-Hop/R&B artist Natasha Bedingfield was.

Another thing that made this year’s THON better than previous years was the fact that way more people stayed for a longer period of time along with everyone just simply seeming more involved this year.

Mr. Stock decided to join THON because he wanted a way to get involved as a freshman on the main campus at Penn State. An upperclassman at the time told him that THON would be a great way to get involved, so Mr. Stock joined and is still an active member.

Not only do we have student teachers here at BAHS who are members, but we also have multiple Bellefonte grads who are a part of the THON organization. BAHS Class of 2020 graduate Mackenzie Ebeling joined the program once she got into college.

“I decided to be involved with THON from a young age at elementary school mini-THONs, but through family experience with my cousin’s diagnosis and treatment, THON became so much more personal and an overall amazing event to be a part of,” she said.

This goes to show that even though some people join THON to get involved many others join because of more personal reasons. Mackenzie now majors in Biology at University Park. She also has a specific favorite memory from her time in THON.

“Our most memorable moments from THON 2022 were the Final 4, hearing lots of stories and watching videos of children who have been able to overcome cancer and those who unfortunately were taken too soon,” Mackenzie said.

Even though THON can get very emotional, it’s an amazing program to be a part of. Being able to raise money for children with cancer and truly make a difference is something that everyone should take part in.