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Penn College THON Dancer Pauses to Reflect on ‘Incredible’ Nonstop Weekend

Dancers Madeline A. Lusk (left) and Kelsey J. Maneval get a morale boost from their Penn College Benefiting THON colleague Eric S. Ross, a physical fitness specialist major from Orwigsburg.
Dancers Madeline A. Lusk (left) and Kelsey J. Maneval get a morale boost from their Penn College Benefiting THON colleague Eric S. Ross, a physical fitness specialist major from Orwigsburg.
Pre-nursing major Emily D. Perry, of Hanover, emblazons "FTK" – honoring THON's "For the Kids" focus – on Dustin C. Bailey, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from Petersburg.
Pre-nursing major Emily D. Perry, of Hanover, emblazons “FTK” – honoring THON’s “For the Kids” focus – on Dustin C. Bailey, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from Petersburg.
Adding to the energy are, from left, Eric S. Ross; John D. Pater, of York, enrolled in web and interactive media; and Kyle N. Johnson, an ornamental horticulture: landscape emphasis major from York.
Adding to the energy are, from left, Eric S. Ross; John D. Pater, of York, enrolled in web and interactive media; and Kyle N. Johnson, an ornamental horticulture: landscape emphasis major from York.
Lusk and Maneval bookend their colorfully clad THON supporters Cavan R. Irvine, of York, a physician assistant major, and Emma J. Sutterlin, a pre-applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant major from State College.
Lusk and Maneval bookend their colorfully clad THON supporters Cavan R. Irvine, of York, a physician assistant major, and Emma J. Sutterlin, a pre-applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant major from State College.
Spelling out their PCT allegiance are (from left) Chelsea M. Burger, a nursing student from Millersville, Sutterlin and Irvine. "Photobombing" at right foreground is Edward J. Straub Jr., of Jessup, Md., an electronics and computer engineering technology: robotics and automation emphasis major.
Spelling out their PCT allegiance are (from left) Chelsea M. Burger, a nursing student from Millersville, Sutterlin and Irvine. “Photobombing” at right foreground is Edward J. Straub Jr., of Jessup, Md., an electronics and computer engineering technology: robotics and automation emphasis major.

During what one of them termed the “most amazing weekend” of her life, two Penn College students were part of Penn State’s recent record-setting THON fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Madeline A. Lusk, a physician assistant major from State College, and Kelsey J. Maneval, a nursing student from McAlisterville, were chosen to represent Penn College Benefiting THON in its first year as a campus chapter. The two were among more than 700 dancers who outlasted sore feet and sleep deprivation in the Bryce Jordan Center from 6 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Sunday, helping to raise $13.34 million – the highest ever pledged in the marathon’s 42-year history. “There was so much love and support in that stadium. The kids were so precious and full of joy, it made it so easy,” Lusk said. “To see the kids, who go through pain every single day that is exponentially worse than anything we experienced for 46 hours, made it all seem like a piece of cake!” Repeatedly humbled by much of the “incredible” weekend, Lusk said she and Maneval could not have persevered without their “moralers” – assigned to monitor each dancer’s physical and mental well-being – and their cheerleading friends from the Penn College THON chapter. “They fought so hard to come see us and support Kelsey and me while they, themselves, were completely drained. I thank God for all of them, and for giving us the strength and courage to keep going.” Lusk said she could fill pages and pages with stories from the weekend: “from making kids smile to life-saving piggyback rides, and from amazing moralers to the ‘Final Four Hours.’ It was the most memorable and perfect weekend.” Among others making memories were Penn College alumnus Jace L. Toner (’12, aviation maintenance technology), who proposed marriage to Penn Stater Sarah Collier on Saturday morning. They were one of three couples to get engaged during THON weekend.
Photos provided by Penn College Benefiting THON members Madeline A. Lusk, Emma J. Sutterlin and Meghan C. Cunningham, general studies, Williamsport

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