Although THON is designed to help children fight pediatric cancer, many participants find additional reasons to devote their time to the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council Dance Marathon.
In a sea of neon tank tops and bright knee high socks, Trilogy THON child Janae Holmes is easy to find.
“I’ve been attending THON since I was four years old when I was first diagnosed with cancer,” Holmes said.
Holmes, 15, of Lykens, PA said she wanted to stand out which is why she chose to wear a pepperoni jumpsuit she found in her mother’s closet, paired with a rainbow tutu.
Having been to THON 11 times, Holmes said she is very accustomed to the dance marathon and the way in which students dress.
Holmes said her advice to new THON participants would be to go into the event with an open mind and enjoy the moment.
“I participate in THON not only because I am a THON child but because I want to see kids grow up without having to deal with cancer,” Holmes said.
Javon Beverly was also found wearing a rainbow tutu.
“Today’s a day where no one can be judged for who they are or how they dress,” Beverly (junior-print journalism) said.
As a second-time participant, Beverly said his favorite part of THON is hanging out with members of his Phi Sigma Pi national honor society and dance marathon because he can bond over the experience with the friends he has made this year.
“The best part of THON is seeing everyone come together for a great cause,” Beverly said.
Similar to Beverly, Kelly Friday said she enjoys the sense of community echoed throughout the Bryce Jordan Center by the participants.
“My neighbor had cancer and was involved with THON,” Friday (sophomore-economics and finance) said. “She was part of the reason I got involved.”
Friday joined the THON club Apollo her freshmen year and said she is happy being involved with an organization dedicated to helping others and bringing people together.
“I don’t mind being here at off hours like 2 a.m. because I believe the last four hours are amazing,” Friday said. “The energy is incredible and the entire time is inspiring.”
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