THON means a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, over my time here at Penn State, THON has been a great way to get involved on campus, it has been a great way to get involved in the community, and above all, THON has been an incredible way to help people that need it the most.
Since getting involved with THON during my sophomore year, I have known that I wanted to dance. My senior year seemed like the best way to do that. People can prepare you for what THON will bring, but it's truly something that has to be experienced to be understood. There's a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of complete exhaustion and a pain in the feet and legs that is indescribable. The exhaustion and pain are very easy to ignore when you're surrounded by hundreds of compelling and gut-wrenching stories of families who have been inflicted by the worst of scenarios.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to meet several of these families. Some of the kids were shy, while others were very willing to spray in the face with a water gun after they were handed a bead necklace. Many of the parents were overwhelmed by the size, the generosity and the love that is present at THON. All of the parents were quick to offer a sincere word of thanks for all of the efforts that we had put forth throughout the year. Seeing the signs and banners that the brotherhood held up in the stands throughout the weekend proved to be another source of strength during the weekend. Knowing that so many people had my back was extremely comforting. In the course of 46 hours, I laughed, I cried, I stood and I danced.
I experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and will not trade anything for any of the memories that I will have of the weekend. I learned that you can truly do anything that you put your mind to. For children that suffer the way that these patients have, it became incredibly easy to stand for 46 hours. I will never forget anything about THON weekend and I was proud to do it representing Theta Chi and even more proud to dance in honor of Carly Mitchell. We will continue to dance for a cure until, one day, we are able to dance in celebration.
For The Kids,
I recently had the chance to represent Theta Chi and dance in THON 2010, and it was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was great finally getting to experience THON as a dancer, after four years on the finance committee and after serving as a co-THON chairperson for Theta Chi. Being on the floor for the whole weekend and taking in all the love, dedication, and passion for THON was truly a life changing feeling and helped me to put the trivial things in life into perspective.
Being part of such a close-knit and dedicated brotherhood also greatly improved my THON experience. I always had at least a few brothers supporting me in the stands and cheering for the dancers as we stayed on our feet for the kids. I highly recommend others to get as involved in THON as possible. My last four years of association with THON have been the most memorable of my life, thanks in large part to THON. This is an experience that I will truly never forget, and I am so thankful to be involved with THON and to have had this experience as a brother of Theta Chi.