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Another Brandywine THON Record Broken 

By: Paul Alberici, Lion’s Eye Staff Editor, paa5102@psu.edu, updated by Lion’s Eye Web Staff

Each year Penn State students join together in defiance of pediatric cancer through THON, and Brandywine’s own THON organization continues to break its own personal records.

During the first canister solicitation where students collect donations on various street corners, Brandywine’s THON organization raised $12,331.07. This breaks the single weekend record for the group by $200, which was a new record set last year. The two canning captains of the group, who plan locations were very pleased.

“I was very impressed,” Canning Captain Kevin Cardella said, who was part of the previous record breaking weekends was. “Our members are brilliant and work so hard. This reflects on our organization and the generosity of the community.”

“The success came from everyone,” Canning Captain Nick Raffaele said. “It was a team effort from everybody. We all contributed to make this work.”

This success has been heavily attributed to the amount of new members in the organization. There are many new freshman and sophomores in THON now. All the different members bring their own unique reasons for joining.

“I joined THON at Penn State Brandywine because of the great experiences that I had with my high school’s mini-THON,” Freshman Dave McDermott said. He is an alum of Springfield High School, which hosts the largest Mini-THON in Pennsylvania. “After meeting some of the people who actually do THON here at Brandywine, I realized that I wouldn’t be forced into anything, and that they were like the people from Springfield: devoted, excited, fun, kind, and understanding.  So I joined Brandywine’s THON, and I’ve met some of my favorite people on campus.”

Other members had family influences with their decision, like freshman Cody Stewart.

“I joined THON because my sister told me it was great,” Stewart said. “That piece of advice made me want to check it out.”

Some members wanted to use THON as a chance to make friends and an impact at the same time.

“I joined THON because I was always an introvert,” freshman Hannah Chu said. “I wanted a change of pace. I wanted to make a positive impact while making unforgettable friends.”

Between these new members and the dedicated captains, Brandywine has had a consistent team this year.

“It comes down to team building,” Brandywine THON President Liz Gramlich said. “We have been doing more things to increase involvement with new members so they have the chance to make as much of an impact as the captains of our group. We are also consistently reinforcing why we do this to the members.”

With the first big success of the year under their belt, Brandywine THON members, new and old, have high expectations.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know more people here at Brandywine, canning some more, and just enjoying my first year of college,” McDermott said. “I’m sure that there is plenty to look forward to that I don’t even know about yet.”

The one thing that everyone seems to be looking forward to above everything else is the annual 46-hour Dance Marathon. This event ends the fundraising year and the total amount raised throughout that year. THON 2016 will be held February 19 -21 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

This early success is only the beginning for this group. Multiple events and another canning weekend separate them from the dance marathon at the end of the year. Since this is just the beginning, the only place for the total to go is up.

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