by Ava Huntley

Growing up in State College Andy Mader (senior, Finance) decided that the perfect place to dance as an independent dancer couple for THON weekend is at his parent’s home. Andy describes his parent’s house as being decorated with ribbons, diamonds and poster boards for his supporters to write encouraging messages on while he dances throughout the weekend.

Although he is dancing independently this year with his friend Evan Cuccaro (senior, Business Administration and Management), Andy first got involved with THON when he joined Lion Ambassadors during his sophomore year. The Lion Ambassadors are Penn State’s Student Alumni Corps who offer tours and programming to prospective and accepted students, alumni and friends aiming to communicate the University’s history, personality and traditions.

During his first two years of THON Andy says he spent most of his time in the Lion Ambassador’s section in the stands, encouraging the dancers on the floor to keep going. “I always felt like it was my role to see people on the floor and wave to them, to let them know that people are cheering them on,” Andy describes. Now two years later it is Andy’s turn to receive the support and recognition from his organization as he tackles this challenging weekend.

With THON taking place virtually this year organizations had to think outside of the box when it came to fundraising. This past Wednesday The Lion Ambassadors held a date auction where members including Andy could auction themselves off for a date with anyone in the organization. “I think it’s a super cool fundraiser that a lot of organizations should do because people got excited to spend money on each other just to have a good time for a good cause,” Andy says.