by Hanna Bernett

Above: Lily Reynolds (left) at THON™ 2020

Lily Reynolds has been heavily involved in THON throughout her entire college career, and now she is excited to dance THON 2022! Since Lily will be graduating early in December 2022, this is her third and final THON.  

As a first-year student, Lily got involved with THON as member of Atlas (a THON Special Interest Organization), but this year she is dancing for her sorority Omega Phi Alpha, or OPhiA.  

“Before I joined OPhiA, a majority of my work towards THON was with Atlas. I was a THON Weekend captain my freshman year, meaning that I put together gifts for our THON families and planned events for them prior to the weekend. After joining OPhiA, my work with the club focused more on graphic design and merchandise. “ 

“I joined OPhiA my second semester at Penn State…right before my first THON. It was hard to get involved initially before the first weekend,” Lily explained, “however, I spent a lot of time in the stands with them and our previous THON partners, Chi Phi, where I learned about our mission for THON and instantly fell in love. I felt like OPhiA’s involvement with THON really comes from the heart, and no involvement is too little. Every moment counts.” 

Like many student volunteers, Lily’s love for THON grew when she began to form a relationship with a THON Family. “For my second THON, I attended virtually and got to know our sorority’s families more. I remember talking to one THON child, Josiah, about the music he creates, and it was really cool to see what he was passionate about. Along with spending time with my sisters and our families at THON, I also attend as many fundraisers as I am able.” 

“I want to represent our families this year because I want them to know they are not alone,” she elaborated, “By being a dancer, I want to show our THON Families how much we appreciate them, and how much their lives matter. Dancing is a big commitment, like our commitment to our families. I want to fill up our families lives with joy, so that they can love every moment. I also want to dance for a change, so that there can be more tomorrows and smiles.” 

Lily Reynolds (left) and members of Omega Phi Alpha at the 2021 THON 5K.

Lily is looking forward to taking part in an in-person THON once more. She hopes that the experience of being surrounded by her sorority sisters and families as she stands for 46 hours will make a lasting impact on her.  

“The other dancers and I dance to show our strength and willingness to fight against childhood cancer. Without strength, you can’t stand up to the things you want to change. Standing for 46 hours is definitely not an easy feat, and it is not meant to be. I hope my experience as a dancer will give me more courage I all that I do, so I can impact the world around me. Hopefully, I can motivate others to be more brave as well.” 

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