EMS THON: 5-peat

For the fifth consecutive year, EMS THON finishes first among general organizations

President Eric Barron and his wife, Molly, join the EMS THON team to celebrate. EMS THON raised the largest amount among general organizations for The Four Diamonds. Credit: Jacob DeFlitch / Penn StateCreative Commons

It is hard to surpass a seemingly impossible goal but with dedication and hard work that is what the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) THON team did. For the fifth year in a row, the EMS THON raised the largest amount among general organizations for The Four Diamonds, fighting pediatric cancer. This year they raised $137,763.29, smashing last year's record-breaking total of $110,114.67. 

All EMS THON team members, from the board, to the dancers, to all of the volunteers make significant contributions -- organizing canning events, supporting THON families and dedicating a large part of their free time to the effort.

“Everything we do is for our families.  As a group of outstanding student leaders, we fund raise relentlessly throughout the THON season. Our organization has managed to extend the inherent passion of the college to our cause and we have worked tirelessly to unite our community in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said Carly Hinton, executive director of EMS THON and dancer.

PJ Tatano, EMS THON’s donor and alumni relations director and the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon technology captain - special projects developer, said, “To me, EMS THON is my family. What makes EMS THON so special is that we don't have dues, we don't have membership requirements and we really don't require our members to do anything. We understand that all of our members are dedicated students in their respective majors. You can give as little or as much as you want to the organization.  So when we're able to accomplish something like raising more than $137,000, it is amazing to know that everyone who helped us reach this goal did it solely because of their passion for THON and the amazing support it gives Four Diamond Families.”

Dancers are elected by the organization and they rely on the EMS team to give them strength for the 46 hours of the no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon. This year, the EMS dancers were Rob Englund (senior, meteorology), Cara Hallowell (senior, materials science and engineering), Lexie Herdt (senior, meteorology), Carly Hinton (senior, environmental systems engineering), Jenna Loffredo (junior, communication sciences and disorders), Amanda Murphy (senior, environmental systems engineering)  and PJ Tatano (junior, petroleum and natural gas engineering).

Tatano said, “THON can't be described, it has to be experienced and THON Weekend is something everyone should have the opportunity to see. For those 46 hours, time doesn't exist and cancer is no more.  We're reminded every day why what we're doing matters. Our three adopted families, The Brewers, Woods, and Hollingers, are the most extraordinary, loving, strong, and courageous people I've ever met.  They've all fought this disease and we've learned of their struggles.  No one should have to fight cancer alone, and we're here to make sure they never have to.”

In her dancer role, Hinton said, “To me, THON weekend is a rare opportunity for everyone that I love to dance in celebration of life, take a moment to reflect and remember and a chance to fight back alongside one another.  It was a true honor to take one final stand against pediatric cancer as a student for my EMS family.”

EMS Dean William Easterling and his wife, Mary, attended THON to support the EMS students.

“To raise this much money for The Four Diamonds is simply outstanding.  Mary and I stood with our dancers and EMS THON team and were touched by the sincere dedication of our students to the welfare of their adopted THON families and to each other.  This is a moment to salute a tour d ‘force performance,” says Easterling.

Overall, THON 2015 raised $13,026,653.23 for The Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

Last Updated March 03, 2015