by Scott Katherine

Written by Dana Russell and Lily Persio

It is that time again! With the arrival of Fall comes cooler air, beautiful foliage, the best fashion season of the year, and the buzz of the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, THON™. This year, we are pushing harder than ever in the fight against childhood cancer. We are always amazed at the amount of people that come together, dedicate their time, and do their part to spread some good in the world. It is our hope that this year’s efforts will bring us one year closer to dancing in celebration of a cure.   

Although there have been tremendous strides in the research and treatment of childhood cancer, there’s much more to be done. That’s what initiatives like the Dream Forward Campaign are all about; good people, all coming together for a great cause. Each year, THON tries to raise the bar in its efforts. This year we recently completed our fifth annual Dream Forward Campaign. This campaign consisted of a series of activities that took place from October 23rd to November 8th to raise money For The Kids®. This year, THON had a goal of raising $850,000 throughout this seventeen-day period.  

THON Volunteer enjoying the Silent Disco at 100 Days ‘Til THON. Photo by Alexa Nystorm 

Dream Forward Campaign Event Recap 

Dream Forward kicked off on October 23rd with the annual Phone-a-THON. Then, on October 25th, we hosted Dream Forward Trivia Night in which there was $7,500 worth of crediting funds and many other prizes up for grabs. The very next day, a new Dream Forward event made its debut. THON Pickleball, a round-robin style pickleball tournament at the Intramural Building, was a huge hit among students and volunteers. This new event also shared a day with our first Hospitality Promotion, which took place at Vibe Coffee. On October 30, one of our favorite events, 2000 Degrees Benefitting THON, began a weeklong promotion in which part of each purchase was donated. On Tuesday of that week, the THON Merch Grab Bag Sale took place. Students lined up throughout the HUB-Robeson Center to stock up on vintage THON merch, with the entire amount of their purchase being credited to their Organization or Independent Dancer Couple. The second Hospitality Promotion of the campaign took place on Wednesday, November 1st with Raising Canes FTK®. Here students filled up on some great food while preparing for one of the biggest fundraising days of the year, Matching Day. This took place on the 2nd, with multiple matching opportunities available for Donors. To wrap up a huge week of events, Roots FTK® and THON Women’s Volleyball were available for people to attend on Friday. Fast forwarding to the next week, Playa Bowls FTK® hosted many hungry Penn State students on Tuesday and was paired with an F45 Class Benefitting THON on the same day. The latter of these events gave participants an opportunity to get some exercise while also donating to a great cause. Lastly, 100 Days ‘Til THON brought Dream Forward to a close in the HUB-Robeson Center on Wednesday, November 8th. Here, the Dream Forward Campaign’s fundraising total was revealed. Over the course of the seventeen-day campaign, THON raised $1,601,849.07 to aid in the fight against childhood cancer! 

Header Photo: The Nittany Lion at THON Women’s Volleyball. Photo by Kiley Canimore