Make an impact in the life of a child today

THON first became a part of my life in 2014, when my older brother was a freshman here at Penn State. My family had heard about how incredible THON was, so we had come up for the weekend to experience it for ourselves. I will never be able to explain the feeling of walking into Bryce Jordan Center for the first time, and seeing thousands of students standing for a united cause. The excitement, enthusiasm and love in the arena could be felt from the first moment I walked in. I knew after that weekend that I wanted to come to Penn State, and that I wanted to be involved in THON in some way. I am so grateful to say that 6 years later, I have reached that goal and been given the opportunity to volunteer with the largest student-run philanthropy in the world in many different ways. Ever since 2014, THON has played a incredibly large role in my life, but since becoming a student it has impacted me in more ways than I had ever imagined. Feel free to read more about my THON journey below:

THON 2019 Dancer Relations

As a freshman, I had the incredible opportunity to be a Dancer Relations Committee Member. My responsibility was to provide emotional and physical support for the dancers I was paired with, as well as all dancers that were participating in THON 2019. Essentially, my responsibility was to help my dancers in every way possible, as they stood for 46 hours THON Weekend. Through this experience I was able to learn so much about THON as an organization from my captain and fellow committee members. I also learned how much every single THON volunteer impacts the entire THON community. I was able to experience, first-hand, the lasting effects that THON Weekend has on our dancers, our volunteers, our community and our families. The random dance parties with strangers on the floor of the BJC, the countless stretch breaks with my dancers, and the inspiring interactions with Four Diamonds families that I was able to have this Weekend are memories that hold a very special place in my heart and motivated me to become more involved.

THON 2020 Special Events

Last year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to serve as a Special Events captain for THON 2020. I was one of the THON History captains, which meant I got to educate the THON community on THON's history and how the largest student-run philanthropy in the world got its start. One of the main ways that my co-captain and I did this was planning and executing the THON History Tours for dancers during THON Weekend. Through my entire experience as a Special Events captain, I truly learned what everyone means when they say THON is a "yearlong effort". THON is so much more than just a single weekend. Volunteers are working all year long to provide the best possible experiences for our families and volunteers, and to find new and innovative ways to fundraise. The magic, the dance parties, and the love that everyone experiences in the Bryce Jordan Center for those 46 hours in February is truly constant. It is felt throughout the entire year, and I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

THON 2021 Dancer Relations

This year I have been given the opportunity to be a Dancer Relations captain. While this year may be different in many ways, one thing that remains constant is THON's mission. The fight to end childhood cancer does not stop, and neither will we. We will continue to provide emotional and financial support, spread awareness, and ensure funding for critical research all in pursuit of a cure

Why I THON...

It is incredibly difficult to put into words what this organization means to me, and all the reasons that I THON. Cancer is something that has touched my life, and lives of my loved ones. I have, personally, seen the effects that cancer can have on a child and their family. Throughout my time at Penn State, I have met so many individuals who have been impacted by cancer in some way, and so many who have been impacted specifically by THON and the Four Diamonds at Penn State Children's Hospital. I THON for every single one of them. I THON so that every child has to chance to grow up and achieve their dreams. I THON so that every family can celebrate every birthday, and every holiday together, like they are supposed to. I THON in honor of our angels, who will continue to be a shining light for us in this fight. I THON For the Families. I THON For the Angels. I THON For The Kids.

Your contribution will fund innovative research that will not only enhance treatment for children in Pennsylvania but is also giving hope to childhood cancer patients worldwide! Together, with every student, volunteer, alumnus, donor, and supporter, we can spread awareness of THON’s mission across the country and throughout the world. With your support of THON, together, we will make a difference in the lives of children nationwide. Join us in the fight, For The Kids.

One day we will dance in celebration, but until then we will dance for a cure. Thank you for your support of my DonorDrive page!

FTK Always,

Caroline O'Rorke