BETHLEHEM, Pa. - We are just over a month away from perhaps one of the most impactful dance parties in the country. Penn State's THON 2021 is set for February 19.
Like most things it will look different this year, but the movement is the same. A Bethlehem native played a big part in keeping the tradition going.
Penn State's 46-hour no sitting or sleeping dance marathon known as THON has raised more than $180 million for families affected by childhood cancer.
"Been a Penn State tradition for close to 50 years now," said Brian Seitz.
It's a tradition the Bethlehem native says is in his blood. Four of his older sisters were a part of THON. He first felt it as a 12-year-old.
"I remember walking down to the floor and being blown away that college students are able to put on an event like this," he said.
As special events volunteer director for the largest student-run philanthropy program in the world, Seitz oversees the planning and execution of all events leading to the THON weekend.
It's a big challenge, especially during a pandemic, but one he didn't take sitting still.
"Now we have a blank slate to rewrite what our committee typically does. Initiatives that have been long overdue," he said.
Like their 5K Fundraiser. This year it was virtual and spread across the world.
"We were able to push THON community to run 25,000 miles around the world spreading THON's mission both figuratively and literally," he said.
52,000 miles were run, raising $100,000.
This year's THON will be virtual too, but the movement is the same. The families they support don't pay a dime in medical bills.
"Just because COVID-19 and this pandemic is happening doesn't mean cancer is stopping. That means THON can't stop either," he said.
A mission you can move to.