EMS finishes first among general organizations in THON fundraising

Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) was first among general organizations for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, raising a record $87,601.82 for the fight against pediatric cancer.

When the doors of the Bryce Jordan Center opened on Friday, Feb. 17, Glenn DeAngelis, overall EMS THON chair, was ready. Wearing his good luck SpongeBob arm bands and matching “Sponge-tastic” pin, DeAngelis, a senior meteorology student, led the students of EMS through the human tunnel formed by the many committee members of THON.

"The excitement was unbelievable. I was holding my clipboard and waving my sky blue bandana high in the air trying to keep us all together. We wanted to get about the same location on the BJC floor as we did last year to support our dancers, and we did," said DeAngelis.

Brian Bastian (meteorology) who served as the donor relations chair credits the team effort of all EMS students and the strength of the executive committee (Marla Korpar, canning chair; Caitlyn McCloy, fundraising chair; and Annie Tamalavage, family relations chair) for this year’s success. The close-knit feeling of family among the students and for the Michael Woods and Troy Brewer families assigned to EMS through the Adopt-A-Family program is a common thread of what motivates students. EMS students have close relationships with both families, and the families inspire the students.

“The ‘why we THON’ is different for every person, but ultimately it’s for those we love and those we lost -- For the Kids. Their stories, both tragic and triumphant, inspire me to be a better person,” said student Katie Lukens, who danced this year along with Brian Bastian, Annie Tamalavage, Caitlyn McCloy, Greg Smith and Marla Korpar.

“One of the biggest challenges is getting freshmen involved because they don’t know what THON means. How could they? They’ve never experienced it, but once they’ve gone through it -- met the families, stayed with the canning hosts, and felt Family Hour -- they usually become even more committed to the cause,” said DeAngelis.

Marla Korpar is one of those who got involved as a freshman. Family Hour was even more memorable for her this year as a dancer.

“I should have been exhausted. 'What a Wonderful World' was playing and the BJC was filled to capacity. I looked out on the floor and up to the stands and everyone was standing arms around each other swaying back and forth. It was a sea of bright colors and so many people, and I felt love radiating from the BJC. I could see it with my eyes, but I could also feel it in my soul."

“It’s more important than ever for us to remember that when people come together for good, more than we could ever imagine can be accomplished,” said DeAngelis.

Last Updated February 28, 2012