Nittany Lion Baseball Participates in THON 2010
Feb. 23, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With its season-opening weekend canceled, the Penn State baseball team made the most of it by getting involved in THON at the Bryce Jordan Center. The 38th annual Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon began on Friday at 6 p.m. and lasted until Sunday at 4 p.m., raising more than $7.8 million for pediatric cancer research.
All proceeds raised from the largest student-run philanthropy in the country benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports families with children who are battling cancer at the Hershey Medical Center Penn State's Children's Hospital. The event is the result of a full year of fundraising by Penn State students. More than 700 THON dancers were on their feet this weekend for 46 consecutive hours.
Penn State student-athletes have always been heavily involved in THON. Baseball is normally on the road THON weekend, but with the games at Longwood University canceled, the Nittany Lions were on campus, giving them the opportunity to participate. Despite being too late to enter the pep rally, the squad found time between a busy weekend of practice for Athlete Hour on Saturday afternoon.
"We all went over as a team, set up a few foursquare courts on the floor of the auxiliary gym, played with the THON kids and interacted with their families," said redshirt senior captain David Lutz. "Everyone had a great time; the hour passed quickly and afterwards, everyone went up for a while and checked out what THON looked like in the main gym."
The Nittany Lions took a lot out of the experience. Not only did the players get to interact with the kids and their families, but they got a true understanding of what THON really is.
"The fact that we never experienced THON for what it is made it very hard for guys to get too interested in years past," said Lutz. "We really didn't understand what it was. Our experience this year will [stay with us] and make it easier for us to appreciate what THON is, get involved and use our strength as a team to make a positive impact in Dance Marathon for years to come.
"The strength and bravery of the kids and their families impressed everyone and is something that will stick with us as a team as we go through the season this spring," continued Lutz."
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