Penn State Brandywine THON

Discovering Tomorrow’s Wonder

Brandywine Benefitting THON ranked No. 7 among Penn State Commonwealth campuses by raising more than $29,000 for pediatric cancer.

By: Michael McDade
For Penn State students across the Commonwealth, a year’s worth of hard work and dedication to support families in their fight against pediatric cancer culminated February 16-18 in a 46-hour no-sleeping, no-sitting dance marathon at University Park.

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, known as THON, raised $10,151,663.93. Penn State Brandywine Benefitting THON contributed $29,600.80, ranking the student club No. 7 among Penn State Commonwealth campuses.

The largest student-run philanthropy in the world, THON is an annual fundraising effort that benefits children and their families affected by pediatric cancer. All money raised goes to the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports children treated at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

Brandywine students Alexa Anderson, Matt Hoyer, Deep Patel and Annie Ward had the once-in a-lifetime chance to represent the campus as dancers during THON weekend, which included no sleeping, no sitting and a whole lot of dancing for 46 hours straight until the $10 million reveal on Sunday evening.

Penn State Brandywine THON dancers

Penn State Brandywine's THON Dancers

From left to right: Matt Hoyer, Deep Patel, Annie Ward and Alexa Anderson represented Penn State Brandywine as dancers during THON weekend. 

Image: Michael McDade

Anderson, a sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders, serves as the club’s public relations captain. She manages Brandywine Benefitting THON’s social media websites and creates flyers to advertise fundraising events.

"It’s hard to describe THON weekend," Anderson said. "To truly understand the energy and passion you need to experience it for yourself. As THON members, we all know why we raise money, but seeing the children and hearing their stories really puts things into perspective.”

A junior earning his English degree, Hoyer serves as Brandywine Benefitting THON’s fundraising captain, overseeing the organization’s general fundraising events while also helping the club generate new ways to raise money.

"Being a THON dancer was actually really motivating for me," Hoyer said. "Meeting the children throughout the weekend makes me want to work harder to raise even more money next year."

Brandywine Benefitting THON

Brandywine Benefitting THON

Approximately 45 members of Brandywine Benefitting THON attended the event to show their support for the dancers.

Image: Michael McDade

Deep Patel, a sophomore accounting major, serves as the club’s treasurer. He manages Brandywine Benefitting THON’s finances, making sure the organization is on track to achieve its fundraising goals. 

“THON is definitely an emotional roller coaster,” Patel said. “There are so many highs and lows throughout the weekend. In the end, I had the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. The energy in the Bryce Jordan Center is incredible. I’m proud that I was a part of it all.” 

A sophomore studying journalism, Ward is the donor and alumni relations captain for Brandywine Benefitting THON. She works with Penn State alumni and local businesses to secure gifts and ensure the club’s fundraising success.

“I teach dance for preschool kids and during the weekend I got a package of pictures and letters from my students cheering me on. That was one of my favorite moments of THON,” Ward said. “Our group went through a lot of change this year, but we adopted a team mentality and were able to stay flexible. That's one of the big reasons we were successful.”

THON Performances

THON Performances

The Bryce Jordan Center at University Park was alive with performances throughout THON weekend.

Image: Michael McDade

Bill Tyson, Brandywine's director of marketing and communications who serves as the adviser to Brandywine Benefitting THON, attended the event and was impressed with the club’s dedication throughout the year and during THON weekend. 

"THON weekend is the culmination of months of hard work to raise funds for this important cause,” Tyson said. “The students in Brandywine Benefitting THON really embrace the mission and they constantly remind each other of the importance of what they are doing. Our campus' four dancers showed their dedication and commitment by going 46 hours with no sitting or sleeping and our THON members were there throughout the weekend to encourage them. It's really a team effort."