Alumni Challenge Stories

The Alumni Challenge is focused on creating a visual representation of THON’s reach, as we continue to spread THON’s mission across the world. The challenge provides the unique opportunity to hear from Penn State alumni worldwide and their continued support and connection to THON.

Caroline Camp

Caroline Camp, a 2022 Penn State graduate, helps spread THON’s mission across the world from Valencia, Spain. Caroline was involved with THON on a Dancer Relations Committee her first year, on the Family Relations Committee her second and third years, and as the Family Relations Director her fourth year. Her favorite THON memories include Harvest Day last year when THON volunteers and Four Diamonds families got together in person for the first time since 2020 and Family Hour during THON 2022. She felt so connected to THON during her time at Penn State that she wanted to continue being involved post-graduation, regardless of how far away she is from State College. With the roles she has been in, she has gotten to meet many Four Diamonds families and hear their stories personally. This makes it impossible to not feel so passionate about the mission. The people she has met throughout her time with THON are so passionate about its mission that it’s infectious. She has a special place in her heart for the reasons why they THON. Today, Caroline still feels engaged with THON regardless of distance, because if there is anything that THON 2021 taught her, it is that THON is not limited to the Bryce Jordan Center or State College, PA, but rather a feeling. She keeps up with THON through social media and with her sister who is a THON Captain currently. She still is friends with Four Diamonds families on Facebook and sees their posts about going to THON events. Caroline’s dedication to the THON community reaches across continents and shows THON’s great scope.

Chelsey Bunner

Chelsey Bunner, a Penn State 2021 graduate, helps spread THON’s mission across the world from Bordeaux, France. Since both of her parents went to Penn State and were involved in THON, she knew before even getting to college that she wanted to be involved in THON. During her time at Penn State, Chelsey was on a Special Events committee her first year, was an Alumni Engagement Captain her second year, and was an Alumni Engagement captain again in her fourth year. She also danced in THON 2019 with a friend as an Independent Dancer Couple. She loved her experience with THON so much that she wanted to be involved after graduating, no matter how far away she is. Chelsey felt especially connected to THON’s mission because she grew up in central Pennsylvania, very close to the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. She still feels connected to THON because of all the friendships that she made through it, who she believes will be her friends for the rest of her life. She tries to stay involved by donating to anyone that she knows who is trying to dance as an Independent Dancer Couple and keeping up with THON through social media. She also tries to stay involved through her family who is still very involved in the THON community. Chelsey’s persistence with THON’s mission remains, even with being physically far away from State College, showing just how great THON’s impact and reach is.

David Denny

David Denny, a Penn State 2009 graduate, helps spread THON™’s mission around the world from San Juan, Puerto Rico. David was involved in the student radio station on campus. His senior year he created a THON fundraising organization called the Lion THON (now called Everyday Benefitting THON). He danced for the organization in 2009 and was also involved as a Moraler (now called a Dancer Relations Committee Member) during his time at Penn State. Now, David still feels connected to THON’s student volunteers, as he donates to the organization he founded and connects with dancers through Puerto Rico’s chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. He also keeps up with newsletters each month! David’s commitment to the THON community continues no matter how far away he is from State College, PA, representing the wide reach of THON’s mission.

Jennifer Romano

Jennifer Romano, a Penn State 2005 graduate, helps spread THON™’s mission around the world from London, United Kingdom. Jennifer danced in 2005 for Club Field Hockey and was also involved as Hospitality Committee Member during her time at Penn State. She was so inspired by her experience that she wanted to continue the fight regardless of her distance from State College, PA. Jennifer felt especially connected to THON because of some of her family members who battled cancer. Even now, THON continues to provide a community to her and her friends who share and celebrate THON’s successes together after the total reveal each year. Jennifer’s commitment to THON’s mission spans continents and exemplifies THON’s global reach.

Emily Laird

Emily Laird, a 2022 Penn State graduate, helps spread THON’s mission across the world from Pamplona, Spain. Emily was involved in THON through Club Cross Country and was on a Dancer Relations committee for THON 2019 and THON 2020, was an Outreach Coordinator on the Communications committee for THON 2021 and was the 100 Days to THON Captain on the Special Events Committee for THON 2022. Emily also danced in THON 2022 for Club Cross Country and had an amazing experience. She also received the Tally Sepot Memorial Award for her spirit and enthusiasm, which is helping her to be abroad now. THON is where she found friends, and because of her experience, she wanted to continue being engaged with THON even with being many miles away. Emily feels especially connected to THON’s mission because of the community she found within the THON families she has interacted with. She adores Club Cross Country’s three families and has made a strong connection with all of them. During move in her first year, Emily actually met a THON family which was also the THON child's last day of chemotherapy! They were then the family story during her Dancer Relations Committee meeting soon after. During her 3rd year, Emily and her Communications committee were paired with the same family through THON’s Pen Pal Program! Emily believes that THON is home for her, and still feels engaged because of the people she loves that are still at Penn State volunteering with THON. She connects through emails and social media. Emily’s commitment to THON’s mission spans across countries and shows THON’s worldwide reach.