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THON Dancers Revealed 

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By: Liz Gramlich, Lions Eye Staff Editor, eag5283@psu.edu

At this year’s annual Brandywine Benefitting THON Chance Auction the dancers selected by Brandywine THON were revealed. What is THON and why do people dance? THON is short for Penn State Dance Marathon. THON is one of biggest student run philanthropies in the world. It raises money for children diagnosed with cancer at the Hershey Medical Center. At the end of each fundraising year, Penn State holds a forty-six hour dancer marathon to raise money for this cause.

Brandywine THON raises money all year and selects two dancers to dance for these forty-six hours. Each year Brandywine THON holds an election to see who will represent Brandywine as dancers at THON. This year, in order to be eligible to run for dancer; candidates had to go great lengths to help fundraise for this cause.  In addition, to be able to vote in the election you had to be considered a member of Brandywine THON.

This was instilled for the first time this year to give each candidate the best possible chance to be elected. On Jan. 14 six candidates presented to their fellow THON members reasons why they they should dance in THON 2015. Every candidate had different reasons, but one reason remained the same: they wanted to dance for the kids, or as THON members say:  “FTK.” All of the candidates have dedicated their year to ensure they could provide for the kids at the Hershey Medical Center.

These members are all deserving of the opportunity to dance in THON 2015, but only two could dance. After the votes were cast and counted, the dancers were announced at Brandywine THON’s Chance Auction. The two dancers who were selected for THON 2015 were Michael Mensah and Paul Alberici. Michael Mensah is a sophomore at Brandywine and has participated in THON since his freshman year. He is currently the canister solicitation “canning” captain for Brandywine THON and has worked on many THON events throughout the year.

Mensah states, “I want to be dancer to entertain the kids and help put a smile on their faces even if they might be going through a lot. I want to remind them to never lose faith, and to never give up!”

Paul Alberici is a junior at Penn State Brandywine and joined THON his freshman year as well. Alberici is currently the public relations captain for Brandywine. With this job he has done all of the public relations work for each event and has worked on other fundraising for the organization. Alberici states, “I’m doing this to let these families know this is no longer just their family’s fight, this is a fight undertaken by every THON volunteer.

Even if you are not a physically raising money, you are raising one of the greatest things you can give somebody…hope.” Paul Alberici and Michael Mensah have been revealed as Brandywine’s dancers for THON 2015. Their hard work and dedication to Brandywine THON’s organization has proven that they are ready to take on the daunting task of dancing forty-six hours.

This will be to celebrate those who have defeated cancer, support those who are battling, and honor those children who have lost the battle. This may be the hardest, most emotional, and memorable experience of their life. The task of dancing forty-six hours may be one of the most selfless things they will do for anyone, and it is a journey of a lifetime.

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