THON: It's not just about the money

December 07, 2009

Editor's note: The following was written by a Penn State student who hopes to become an independent dancer in this year's THON. She and her dance partner went canning for the first time in Akron, Pa., outside of Lancaster. This is her account of their trip.

By Rachel Mountz

This past weekend, my best friend and I were among the many students who went canning for THON. Covered from head to toe in Penn State gear, we greeted everyone that walked into Weiser’s Market in Akron, Pa. Many people smiled and greeted us back, tossing their spare change or a few dollars into our can. A few people stopped to tell us, "This is a great thing you’re doing." Some mentioned that they or a family member were dealing with or had battled cancer. We even met a Four Diamonds family, and we began to realize that we weren’t just collecting donations, but also making memories and spreading awareness. Some people felt compelled to share their stories with us, and we were glad to lend an ear to them. Their stories were emotional and reminded us that we were standing in the snow all day "for the kids," which kept us going strong. We knew that we were helping out in a bigger way than just collecting money. Many people mentioned to us how appreciative they were of all the students they had seen working hard to collect donations. This is what Penn State Pride is all about, taking a weekend of your time to be selfless and contribute to one of the best causes I can think of.

Additional canning trips are planned for Jan. 22-24 and Feb. 12-14. For pictures from this canning trip, visit online.

  • Rachel Mountz collects a donation during a canning trip to Akron, Pa. For more photos, click on the image above.

    IMAGE: Jessie Zimmerman
Last Updated November 18, 2010