Meet Penn State Harrisburg's 2014 THON Dancers
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After a breaking the college’s previous record last year by raising over $53,000, Penn State Harrisburg will have four dancers representing the campus, February 21 - 23, at the 46-hour Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon commonly known as THON.
Michael Danzis, a junior Security and Risk Analysis major from Mechanicsburg, PA, who spent this year as the morale committee chairperson for the Penn State Harrisburg THON organization, expressed disbelief when he found out he would be representing the campus as a THON dancer.
For Danzis, dancing at THON represents a milestone in his own fight against pediatric cancer.
Diagnosed as a child with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Danzis experienced multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. After a decade long battle, Danzis is now cancer free and has made it his mission to support those affected by pediatric cancer.
“I am dancing for the kids impacted by pediatric cancer and friends I met while going through treatment. I am proud to represent our Harrisburg organization,” said Danzis.
THON is the year-long fundraising and awareness campaign aimed at supporting children with pediatric cancer that culminates in the dance marathon. In 2013, THON raised a record-breaking $12.37 million that went to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
THON is also the largest student run philanthropy in the world and has raised over $101 million for the Four Diamonds Fund since 1977.
For the more than 700 dancers and 15,000 students, alumni, and families who will fill the floor and the stands of the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) at Penn State University Park, the meaning behind the words “For The Kids” signifies a call to action to join the fight to help beat pediatric cancer.
[Alongside Danzis, three other students will represent Penn State Harrisburg. Here’s a closer look at these dancers:]
Steve Murray spent this year helping to organize fundraising events. He expressed a sense of gratitude for the Harrisburg THON organization staff advisor, Melinda Logan, who he called the “THON mom” for her frequent encouragement.
Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Major: Structural Engineering
THON Experience:2012-2013 Co-Overall Chairperson for the Penn State Harrisburg Benefitting THON organization
Most inspiring THON moment: His first visit to the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital nearly 4 years ago
Most looking forward to: Spending quality time with the THON families assigned to Penn State Harrisburg who benefit from funds raised
A self-described “kid at heart,” Michael Keefe sees serving as a THON dancer as both an honor and a responsibility. Keefe said his goal for THON Weekend is to give it his all and to help give the Four Diamonds children he has gotten to know over the year the most enjoyable experience possible. He says he wants to help create positive memories for the children.
Hometown: Collegeville, PA
Major: Criminal Justice
THON Experience: 2013-2014 Family Relations Committee Co-Chairperson
Most inspiring THON moment: Bonding with the Harrisburg THON children
Most looking forward to: Being on the floor of the BJC seeing supporters from Penn State Harrisburg
Hometown: Hershey, PA
THON Experience: 2013-2014 Finance Committee Chairperson
Most inspiring THON moment: Seeing thousands of students united to fight cancer
Most looking forward to: Having fun with the Harrisburg THON children at the event