Once a year the borough of State College takes on a new identity, becoming the City of THON for the duration of THON Weekend. The ceremonial renaming has become a highly anticipated tradition for the past five years and will once again continue to spread the magic of THON Weekend from 6 p.m. on Friday, February 21st to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 23rd, 2020.
To celebrate the City of THON, the State College borough, in collaboration with the local borough municipality, has generously hung THON branded banners throughout downtown State College during the month of February. The banners illustrate the strength of the children THON fights for and passion in every THON volunteer that works tirelessly during the year to make THON Weekend as successful as possible! The banners are also hung during September in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, helping to empower volunteers and community members all year long.
Alongside the efforts of THON volunteers, success would not be possible without the support and generosity of the State College community. It is through events like the THON Reads Campaign and annual THON food drive that help spread THON’s mission and raise awareness for the cause. The reading campaign is a new initiative that capitalized on THON captain interactions with elementary school children and aimed to connect children fighting cancer with other kids their age. During the campaign, THON volunteers visit local elementary schools to read “The Nittany Lion Goes to THON” and help the students make kids mail to deliver to the families during THON Weekend. The volunteers who were able to go to the elementary schools this year said the students loved decorating the cards and that it was inspiring to see kids supporting kids!
This year was also the first year of the THON food drive. The initiative was organized by the THON Local Engagement Captains this November and students were able to provide 790 pounds of food to the State College Food Bank. The initiative began as a simple and impactful way to give back to the State College community and local municipalities who have been so supportive of each and every THON initiative.
For the past 11 years, THON has also partnered with a local retailer, Lions Pride. The store helps support THON’s goal by running a 4 weeks 4 THON Campaign where 20% of every purchase made during the 4 weeks leading up to THON Weekend (Jan. 27 to Feb. 23) is donated directly to their efforts. Community members can support this initiative by buying online or instore at Lions Pride where each sale can be credited to a student organization.
As students, supporters, community members and volunteers on different paths through life, it’s amazing that THON brings the community together for one 46-hour dance marathon every year. If you want to join the fight, donate today at donate.THON.org and don’t forget to tune into the live stream at THON.org/livestream.