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Another Successful Chance Auction for THON as New Dancers Emerge 

Another Successful Chance Auction for THON as New Dancers Emerge

By: Paul Alberici, Lions Eye Writer, paa5102@psu.edu

Over the past few years, one of the annual events that Brandywine Benefiting THON has held is a chance auction in January.

There are a variety of baskets and prizes to be won, with members from all across the Brandywine community enjoying the night. But last year, a tradition started that appears to be here to stay. The organization now uses this event to announce who will be representing the organization in that year’s THON weekend.

This is the first time in years that Brandywine THON will have more than two dancers as part of the more than 700 dancers who will be standing on their feet for 46 hours in support of families affected by pediatric cancer. For THON 2016, Brandywine THON’s dancers are Alexis Proctor, Derek Osborn, and Abby Wilt.

“[The announcement] felt unreal,” sophomore Public Relations Captain Alexis Proctor said. “I was so hyped and speechless.”

After being a general member her freshman year, Proctor has been the Public Relations Captain of the group during this year’s fundraising effort. She is responsible for the group’s social media presence as well as working with the fundraising captain to create flyers to be posted online and around campus. She has also started a new social media video campaign online involving the members of the group.

Needless to say, tension was high among the six potential dancers, yet they were also fully prepared to cheer on their other members, who are also their friends.

“I was prepared for the worst, but hoped for best,” senior Abby Wilt said. “I was ready to cheer on whoever won if it wasn’t me. I was especially nervous though with this being my last THON weekend as a student.”

Wilt’s involvement with THON started back in 2011, when she started her Penn State career at Mont Alto, but then transferred to the Brandywine campus in spring of 2012, thus attending her first THON as a Brandywine member. She was named a shift captain for THON weekend 2013. Upon her return to Brandywine, Abby added that rejoining Brandywine THON was her top priority. Of all the different reactions of those who had won, the general consensus was a sense of shock.

“My initial reaction was shock,” sophomore fundraising Captain Derek Osborn said. “I thought ‘this is actually happening? It took a while to set in, but when it did hit I was overjoyed that I could help the people who needed it.”

Last year, Osborn was one of the group’s most active freshmen. As a freshman, he attended a majority of the group’s events and was even given the opportunity to tour the Hershey Medical Center. After attending THON weekend last year, he felt inspired to do more and volunteered to be the group’s fundraising captain. This position involves planning events, contacting University Park executives for event approval, as well as collaborating with the public relations captain to make the flyers.

“I contribute a lot of free time to planning and setting up events,” Osborn said.

The three dancers will be helping to support families battling cancer and, for each of them, it means something very special.

“This honor means a lot to me,” Wilt said. “All the hard work pays off, I get to do this for the kids and in honor of my grandmother. This has been a year to remember and this just highlights it.”

Proctor also has a personal reason for wanting to dance.

“[It means] everything to me,” Proctor said. “I get the chance to do something I’ve wanted for a long time. Not only do I get to dance in memory of my best friend’s little brother, but I am able to better understand what the families are going through.”

Osborn has a very selfless approach to this as well.

“I have the honor to help those who need it,” Osborn said. ”I get to be the silly and ridiculous reason these kids forget they have cancer. And I also get to carry their burden so they don’t have to.”

Osborn commented on the success of the event itself because aside from announcement, the group still had to raise money.

“I was extremely happy with the success of the event,” Osborn said. “I really liked how it turned out, the silent auction was much more successful, and overall everything was great. I was happy with final profits because they were very similar to last year’s success.”

The Chance Auction raised more than $2,000. Proctor, Wilt, Osborn and the rest of the THON Organization can barely hold in their excitement leading up to the THON weekend which begins on Friday, February 19, at 6 p.m.

 

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