by Molly Ligon

Written By: Georgia Curtis and Lucas Manion 

On October 16th, the THON 5K powered by PNC Bank took place. This year, runners of the race were able to participate either in-person or virtually, with in-person runners beginning the race from the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA. This event also hosted live music, speakers, and games. The weather was crisp and cool on this Sunday morning, but the attitudes of everyone were joyful nonetheless. Volunteers, families, community members, and pets gathered together to kick off the race.  

Here is what some of the attendees shared:  

Interview 1: Paige Gordon, a volunteer with the OPPerations Committee:  

How do you connect with THON?:  

“I connect with THON as a volunteer with OPPerations. But personally why I connect with THON… it’s just always been a thing around me in my life and I have families and friends who have been impacted and it feels like the right thing to do to help them out.”  

What responsibilities do you have at the 5K?:  

“In the 5K, we work with mostly with the trash so making sure that things go in the place. We want to reduce our waste and make sure that we’re composting and recycling as much as possible. We also do the set-up and tear down for other THON-related events.” 

Why do you THON?:  

“I THON because I feel that it would be wrong not to. If I have the time and the resources to give to people who need my help, then I think I should.” 

Interview 2: Kiera, a local community member:  

How do you connect with THON?:  

“I love just being around it and I’m a local, so I’ve been here my whole life and now I get to be a part of it. So it’s just really fun to dress up and just have some fun.” 

Why did you sign up for the THON 5K powered by PNC Bank? 

“I ran it last year and I wanted to do it again because I thought… Like… might as well… it’s here to do it so…” 

Why do you THON?  

“[Why] I THON personally: I work in a nursing home, so I THON for all the residents that I’ve lost and all of the kids that are fighting to make it to that age.  

What’s your favorite song to run to? 

“I don’t know honestly… maybe like ‘Turn Down for What’.” 

After an awesome day of performances, music, games, and speakers made possible by the event organizers and participants, the THON 5K powered by PNC Bank concluded with the race. Participants made their way around the course as friends, families, roommates, and other spectators lined the campus to catch a glimpse of the runners.  

The event served as an important reminder of the tight-knit community that THON fosters, with every single organizer, volunteer, and participant working towards one goal: ending childhood cancer.