Penn State Thon

Kaylee Kleinsmith, Entertainment

This year, Penn State went above and beyond at Thon and I got to witness it! The energy at Thon is unmatched and never seen before. Waves of emotion hit you like a hurricane while standing in the tightly packed Bryce Jordan Center. People were either packed shoulder to shoulder in the stands, forming hour long lines for food, or waiting a lifetime to purchase a shirt. 

From what I could tell, Thon is extremely emotional. Everyone is crying, cheering, and also having the time of their lives. The friendships, love, and respect Thon creates is incredible and truly is a once in a lifetime experience. I got the privilege to see hard work really pay off without the help of staff. This student run organization is truly memorizing. The students wait for this weekend their whole college career and make it worthwhile. Many complained of their legs feeling tired or hurting (of course they are standing for 44 hours straight), but they never complain about being tired because they have reached a natural high. Thon is a feel good organization, it makes you realize what sacrifice really is and how to appreciate life more and more each day. 

Many inspiring people attend Thon and share their stories. From kids who previously have suffered, to families that tell their stories, there are many amazing people there.The students go crazy and really push themselves to their limits while reaching goals to help Four Diamond Families. A Four Diamond family includes a family with a child that has or had cancer. It is also known as the Four Diamond Fund. For the past 44 years, Thon has been able to raise enough money so that Four Diamond Families can get treatment and medical attention without a medical bill. 

Students at Penn State spend 44 hours standing, dancing, and doing many more activities to respect the kids who suffer or have suffered day-to-day with cancer. This year, Penn State students were not allowed to go door-to-door or go canning for donations due to accidents that happened in the 2019 school year. This cuts down a majority of donations. Thon 2020 wanted to reach a goal of 10 million dollars. This was a stretch and many were scared of the outcome. Somehow kids went above and beyond and beat their goal. They reached a total of 11.6 MILLION dollars in donations and the crowd went wild. This was more than an accomplishment and more than ever expected. 

The Thon experience is overwhelming. The Thon experience will never compare to a simple article explaining its details. There is too much emotion and feeling that goes into Thon to truly put it into words. I met so many people and got along with them so well because we had one thing in common: everything we do, is #FTK. If you ever get the chance to experience Thon, take it.