by Caitlin Hanley

Lexi Hoopes is one of four THON dancers for the Penn State Cheerleading Team this year. She is from Springfield, Pennsylvania and is a senior here at Penn State. Lexi’s passion for THON began all the way back when she was in middle school and a teacher of hers was diagnosed with kidney cancer. While he was in and out of the hospital, her school created a sort of mini-THON to support him. That mini-THON continued all the way into Lexi’s high school years, where she continued to be involved and develop her passion for finding a cure to cancer. Once Lexi was a Penn State student, it was a no-brainer that she would be a part of THON. Her THON journey at Penn State has consisted of being a committee member and a chair for her team. Lexi said her favorite aspect of THON is during the Final Four when all of the previous line dances are showcased. She said, “I think it truly shows how widespread the community of THON is and how generations have grown and evolved each year.” Lexi plans on keeping herself and her fellow dancers motivated this weekend through constant contact with their THON families, their teammates, their parents, and supporters from all across the Penn State community. Above everything else, Lexi dances for the kids and their families, especially Aubrey Evans and Emma Munger, her team’s THON children. She said looking at their photos and reading their stories is what inspires her to do all she does for THON. Good luck this weekend Lexi, thank you for everything you do for the Penn State Cheerleading Team, for the THON community, and For The Kids!