Feb 22

Is Onward State Serious With Their THON Article?

*Before you read further, know that we have nothing but respect for Onward State and what they do over there. Now, having said that…

So I read the first half of THIS Onward State article earlier today and decided to simply ignore it. Then, I saw a lot of tweets about it and decided to read the whole thing. OS writer Kevin Horne decided to offer some things that THON should fix. Now, controversial opinions are fine. In fact, they’re good. They make us think critically about things, and thats a good thing. However, this article was full of ideas that were outright ridiculous. Honestly, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to rip them. If you haven’t read it yet, here are some of the highlights.  (and my humble opinions about them)

[I lived and breathed THON for 54 hours straight. I had an absolutely amazing time, and it was certainly very moving.But I look at that sentence, and notice the key word. I – I had an amazing time. That’s a problem. I don’t matter at all, the dancers don’t matter, the THON Captains, Overalls, and committees don’t matter, Onward State doesn’t matter, and none of the 15,000 students in the building matter. The kids matter.]

Ohh Kevin.  Of course the kids matter, but you can’t seriously think the dancers, captains, overalls and committees don’t matter. If they don’t exist, then THON doesn’t exist.  Have you ever talked to a THON Family? Have you ever played with one of the kids? Have you ever danced with a little girl whose life has been changed forever because of cancer? How can you possibly suggest that the volunteers that give their time, dedication, love and passion into this cause don’t matter? I can tell you, EVERYTHING we do for THON is For The Kids. Dancers endure 46 hours on their feet, for the kids. The captains and overalls work their asses off from 6:30 am on Friday to midnight on Sunday, for the kids. Everything is done BECAUSE we all agree that the kids matter.

Heres another:

[If the fundraising efforts of THON simply ended with someone handing over a check to the Four Diamonds Fund, with no fun marathon at the end or tangible way to show the world what we did, would student involvement be so high? I say no, and that’s a damn shame. The 46-hour marathon is necessary for the kids but it shouldn’t be necessary for us. We shouldn’t need to see Go Go Gadjet blast Party Rock Anthem for us to care.]

At this point, I can tell that you’ve never been involved with THON. If you were, you would know that the money is not the main focus of THON. Sure, it is absolutely amazing that we raise so much each year, but THON is way more than a check to the Four Diamonds Fund. THON is a time when all Four Diamonds Kids can come to the BJC and just be a kid again. No nurses, doctors or waiting rooms. Just a room full of students telling them that THEY are OUR heros. That we care about them and that we are fighting their fight with them. Many families will talk about how THON is like Christmas for their children. If you think THON is a check to the Four Diamonds Fund, you have a lot to learn kid.


And finally, when you think it can’t get any worse…

[We shouldn’t care if the national media covers THON. It doesn’t matter how many people are watching on the live stream. I don’t care about how cold you were on a canning trip. It doesn’t matter who raised the most money, how many dancers your organization has, who sent you the best dancer mail, or how much your feet hurt. All we should care about is how our actions affect kids in their times of need. Let’s switch the focus from us to them — let’s make it a 46-hour KID marathon instead of a 46-hour DANCE marathon.]


First of all, why wouldn’t we want the media to cover it? At best, let it inspire other schools to start similar events. At least, let it be a statement to the world that this is who WE ARE. And bro – without canners freezing cold, without dancers pushing through pain, without the organizations and frats/sororities involved, and without the families and kids, THON wouldn’t exist. How do you not get that? And a 46-hour KID marathon? What does that even mean? The DANCE Marathon IS for the kids. You’re not making sense.

There’s more in the article, so you can read the rest here if you would like.

Look, I’m not saying THON is perfect at all. But my question is this – WHY in the world would Onward State want to publish something like this? An article discrediting the year-long effort of thousands of our Penn State  brothers and sisters? Telling them that they don’t matter and don’t even belong in THON? Telling them that its wrong to be so proud of your school that you want to tell everyone about it? That’s ridiculous.

This is a cause that many have put their blood, sweat and tears into. This is a cause that brings the student body together like no other. This is a cause that truly helps families in need. This is a cause that makes me proud to be a Penn Stater. Why don’t you take off your “media” hat and be a human being for a second. You fudged up Onward State, Just admit it.

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  1. Phuck Philly

    This represents the amount of critical thinking I would expect of someone from Philadelphia.

    1. Oddibe McDowell

      He comments on an article written by a guy called “The Boston Kid.”

    2. idiot

      Written by The Boston Kid you moron. Your intelligence reeks of a Pittsburg Simpleton

    3. PhuckPhilly's an Idiot

      Uhmm it’s written by “the boston kid”
      NOT Philly.. Nice try though

  2. JP

    The dude makes so many good points it’s not even funny. Thon is all me, me, me. The fact that the organizations make it a contest to see who can raise more is so selfish and people searching for recognition. We shouldn’t celebrate the number at the end, that shit doesn’t matter. celebrate when we find a cure. I canned every weekend. I was on the executive committee of an independent organization this year and I think the only reason anyone participates in Thon is cause they think it’s the cool thing to do, not because of the cause. The cause comes 2nd and it should not be that way.

  3. DJ

    ^. Classy. Great point, you have me convinced. Though it’s something I would expect from somebody who has there name “Phuck Philly.” Haters gonna hate. At least we don’t hate on what is Penn State.

  4. but seriously

    whether you like it or not, the guy has a point. integrity is how you act when no one is watching. community service is about the community. let’s be real here.

  5. Ryan

    Starting a post with “we have nothing but respect for Onward State, but…” and then proceeding to trash them shows… well, an immense lack of respect.

    Also your article reads like a third grader wrote it.

  6. Hahahahahahah

    They had a constructive well written opinion column. Are you just upset they called you out for selling shirts? It’s time for you to grow up.

  7. word.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. People are starting to overanalyze THON and they just sound stupid in doing so. Without the students, the media and the year-long effort of those who dub THON as the largest student run philanthropy in the world, it would be nothing more than a mediocre fundraiser. If people are seriously starting to look at it for everything it’s doing WRONG, then they clearly haven’t seen the numbers over the past few years (which is pretty hard to do even if you tried).

    And to whoever posted before me: I wasn’t aware that critical thinking was a bad thing…dumbass

  8. Fran

    That comment represent the amount of critical thinking I would expect from some one who hates Philly for no good reason.

  9. Anon

    ^^ Because your response clearly represents soo much critical thinking itself

  10. Phuck YOU

    Hey @Phuck Philly! I am a from the Philly suburbs and damn proud of it. And I am proud of the well written response that was written by “The Boston Kid” of all people. So first of all @Phuck Philly, you are an idiot and secondly you are a xenophobe… why do you have to hate on people just because they come from a certain city that is different from you?

  11. Rodney Erickson

    Go wear a penny and a backwards off color phillies cap and beat off to some flyers videos

  12. Some Bro

    @Phuck Philly – glad to see all your time is spent trying to start shit by going on sites dedicated to a city you don’t like and making such clever remarks. You even made a clever name. You’re so tight dude.

  13. Katie

    Thanks for writing about this TSP. Being apart of a THON committee for the past two years, I can assure you we keep the kids in the front of our minds the entire year. Everything we do is FTK. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes and all year ’round that is purely for the kids, and I’m sure if this guy was more involved with THON he would know that.

  14. Jo

    I actually like the article. It expresses a view that many PSU students and professors, believe it or not, share. I have heard arguments for this side over and over again. Plus, it creates controversy…great publicity on their part! — Ready for people to hate me haha

  15. will

    the defensive response to the article,which was completely rational and true, is the exact reason people outside of Penn State are annoyed by THON. All penn state kids do is brag about it.

  16. CP

    @Will: you have no idea what you’re even talking about. As a committee member, a dancer, and a captain in THON, you will never truly know what THON truly is until you’ve been a part of it from all aspects, until you grow as a person with this organization. Well written response TSP, well done. I wish people would see the good, would see how truly special this is, would talk to the families that thank Penn State students for giving their children 46 hours to feel normal, to feel like every other kid, to not worry that they have no hair on their head, to not worry about needles or doctors or dreary hospital rooms. To just be a kid, and THAT’S what we give them. Sure, there are bound to be some people out of the 15,000 volunteers who may join for a social aspect, but they grow over those months as truly devoted and special people who love to help these kids. If only you could all share in something this spectacular, this life-changing, this inspiring…

  17. Sharon

    Believe me, childhood cancer research is so underfunded that the kids and their families are grateful to raise much needed dollars and awareness. Kudos to every student who solicited donations, participated in canning trips danced till their feet hurt and enjoyed themselves along the way. What is wrong with the social aspect of the weekend /, we are social beings. I think it is an awesome effort with spectacular results. Yes , agreed it is ultimately about the kids but without the 40,000++ Penn State advocates checks would not be rolling in for the kids. @Will , hopefully god will spare you from having a kid with childhood cancer but if you do have a sick child you will hope people continue to dance. Brag on PSU … you deserve to!

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