Meet Ashley, Sarah, Amanda and Stephanie — your THON 2017 alumni dancers

Kendall Brodie, Alumni Association intern
February 14, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. — Ashley Edwards, Sarah Krisher, Amanda Unger, and Stephanie Wittig will represent the Penn State Alumni Association’s Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) as the organization’s four dancers in the 2017 Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), which will take place Feb. 17 to 19 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Get to know a little bit about the dancers and what they are most excited about leading up to THON Weekend.

Follow the Alumni Association on Twitter and Instagram, where the four alumni dancers will be featured leading up to THON. 

Ashley Edwards, engineering, Class of 2014

What has inspired you to continue your work with THON as an alumna?

I am inspired by all of the children who have the courage to battle this terrible disease, though one child and her family stand out in my mind. During my senior year of college, Club Gymnastics was paired with a new Four Diamonds family and our THON child, Emilia. Throughout her battle, Emilia fought cancer three separate times in less than three years, but she lost her battle last May. Seeing firsthand what Emilia and her family had to go through and having to say goodbye to such a sweet, loving, little girl was heartbreaking. At that point, I decided that I would try to expand my involvement with THON as an alumna, until no family is faced with the loss and suffering that this family and many others have experienced.

What THON Weekend event are you most excited for?

I am so excited to learn this year’s line dance. In preparation for THON, I have been practicing the line dances from my undergrad THONs.

What is your THON Wish?

My THON wish is to meet Charles Millard, the founder of Four Diamonds. Without Charles, THON might not be what it is today.

Sarah Krisher, engineering, Class of 2014

What has inspired you to continue your work with THON as an alumna?

I wanted another chance to thank the families who continue to give Penn Staters so much by letting us into their lives. They are constant reminders that we don’t have to be defined by what life hands to us and make us realize how important things like smiles or laughter can be in getting us through those tough times.

What is your favorite THON memory?

The moment when the dancers sit down at the end of the weekend is truly one of the most incredible things you can experience. There is so much pride in the room for those dancers who accomplished this physically grueling challenge and for all of those who spent an entire year working tirelessly to fundraise more than last year. There’s excitement to see the final total revealed, and there’s love and hope between the tens of thousands of people who came together for the same cause: bringing an end to pediatric cancer.

Food you’re most likely to crave during THON Weekend?

Probably Wings Over, but I don’t think my body would be too happy with me if I actually ate that, so it’s going to have to wait until Monday.

Amanda Unger, business, Class of 2012

Why did you want to dance for DMAIG?

As an alumna, DMAIG has given me so many opportunities to give back to a cause that means so much to me. I was able to find the Hope Express through my involvement with DMAIG, which led me to meet so many great friends, and even my fiancé. Representing DMAIG on the floor at THON is just one way for me to show how proud I am to be a Penn State alumna.

What has inspired you to continue your work with THON as an alumna?

The kids and every person I know who’s been impacted by cancer, especially my grandpa.

What song is on your THON Weekend playlist?

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake.

Food you’re most likely to crave during the weekend?

Pizza.

Any pre-THON rituals?

Sleeping as much as I can!

Person you’re most excited to see on the floor?

Corbin Potter, who happens to be the ring bearer in my wedding this summer!

Stephanie Wittig, business, Class of 2011

What about THON are you most excited for?

I think I am most excited to be back in the THON atmosphere. There is something so magical about being on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center with 700 dancers, the kids, the families, and all of the committees who make THON Weekend happen. It was always my favorite weekend of the year while I was a student, and I still remember how incredible it was to dance my junior year with Women in Business. I’m looking forward to lots of water gun fights, countless giggles, inspirational stories, and reminders throughout the weekend of why we need to continue this fight.

Food you’re most likely to crave during THON Weekend?

Chocolate. Anything chocolate. I can’t get enough of it!

Songs on your THON Weekend playlist?

“My Love Is Your Love” by Whitney Houston; “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers; “Call Me Al” by Paul Simon; and “American Girl” by Tom Petty.

Any cool or crazy costumes you have planned for the weekend?

Definitely going to have to rock my super loud and colorful Hope Express tights that I got when I ran in 2015! Plus a tutu of course!

  • Sarah Krisher photo

    Sarah Krisher says, "the moment when the dancers sit down at the end of the weekend is truly one of the most incredible things you can experience."

    IMAGE: Penn State Alumni Association

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 21, 2017