Participating in THON at University Park
in February will be, left to right,
Tori Haney, Micah Victoria, and T.J. Legel.
Two Penn State Harrisburg students are breaking in their dancing shoes and catching up on their sleep as they prepare to head for University Park to represent the college in the 38th annual IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon to raise funds in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Commonly called THON, the 46-hour fund-raiser is set for Feb. 19 to 21 in the Bryce Jordan Center and is the culmination of a year-long effort to benefit the Four Diamonds fund at the Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey. This year’s THON theme is “Love Belongs Here.”
The largest student-run philanthropy in the world, THON has raised more than $61 million in its history and last year netted a record $7.5 million.
The two Penn State Harrisburg students who will be participating in the no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon are Tori Haney from Collegeville and T.J. Legel from Morgantown, Pa. THON participant in 2009, senior Micah Victoria, will accompany the pair as coach and “inspirational leader.”
A sophomore Elementary Education major and Perkiomen Valley High School grad, Haney attended THON last year in support of Victoria and says she “was moved. I cried.” After coaching Victoria in 2009 she says, “I wanted to be part of it (THON) this year” while adding that her father and sister are also Penn State grads.
Legel, a junior Twin Valley High School grad majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology, says cancer has struck his family and he wanted to join in the effort to raise funds. His first time dancing, but third trip to THON, he adds that his two sisters attended Penn State and spoke to him about the marathon.