46 LIVE ready to produce THON webcast

February 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Each year, thousands of people converge on the Bryce Jordan Center to participate in the Penn State Dance Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. THON families and children, students, alumni and more come together in the fight to end childhood cancer.

But, there also are people all over the world who can’t make it to the Jordan Center, so 46 LIVE, a student-run organization, will be conducting a live webcast of THON from Feb. 15-17 to help those people experience the event. You can watch the webcast at thon.org/livestream, or follow along on social media at @FortySixLIVE on Instagram and Twitter, and facebook.com/46LIVE on Facebook.

“So much of what we do is trying to bring the experience of what it’s like to be there, because there are a lot of people who can’t be there, there are a lot of kids who can’t be there,” said senior Andrew Lashinsky, one of two executive producers. “If we can bring that entire thing to someone else, even just one person, I think that’s worth it.”

THON kicks off at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 and the final reveal of the amount of money raised will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 17. Last year, 46 LIVE reached nearly 160,000 total views, including a peak of almost 14,000 viewers during the conclusion of the event.

“Everyone talks about how our webcast goes out to thousands of people and that’s true, but honestly, I’m not that worried about the thousands of people,” said senior Meghan Shiels, a double major in advertising/public relations and telecommunications who is the other executive producer. “I’m worried about the 30 kids who are in Penn State Hershey who can’t be there. This is it. This is all they get. So, we try our best to make sure that even if you can’t be there physically, you don’t feel like you’re missing out on that.”

This year, the 70 Penn State students involved in 46 LIVE have tallied around 450 hours of preparation. The webcast will feature 20 hosts and will include three cameras with one in the bowl and two on the floor.

“I know Andrew and I are the face, sometimes, of it, but we have really strong and amazing teams underneath us, and I love having their support,” said Shiels, who has been involved with 46 LIVE for four years.

This year, in addition to plenty of prerecorded videos, 46 LIVE will add packaged production during its livestream, giving the webcast an opportunity to recap events throughout the weekend. While 46 LIVE brings the excitement of THON to those who can’t be there, it also provides students with hands-on experience.

“I heard about 46 LIVE and I thought that was a really great potential way to get involved with THON, but also be doing something I enjoy, which is working on livestreams and broadcasts and being in the technical and people aspect and managing a huge thing,” said Lashinsky, who is in his second year with 46 LIVE.

Support from faculty and staff in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, as well as WPSU, has been integral to the success of 46 LIVE, which continues a more-than-decade-long tradition of communications students producing the webcast. The organization’s adviser, Bill Hallman, is a faculty member in the Department of Telecommunications.

Last Updated February 11, 2019