Penn State World Campus is celebrating its first two dancers to participate in THON™, a Penn State student-run philanthropy.
Brayden Caraynoff-Huber, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science student with a minor in history, and Danielle Ray, a Master of Business Administration student, stood for a cause during the 46-hour dance marathon at the Bryce Jordan Center on February 17–19.
Students started “Penn State World Campus for THON” in 2020. The group raised nearly $4,000 in its first year. This year, the group raised the $3,000 minimum to secure two spots for dancers. Penn State World Campus for THON raised $6,439.60, exceeding its 2023 fundraising goal of $5,000.
Caraynoff-Huber and Ray were among the more than 700 students who stood for 46 hours without sleep at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Ray drove from Hershey, while Caraynoff-Huber made the trip with family from Minooka, Illinois, to participate in the weekend.
"Being selected as a dancer for THON is an honor and a privilege," he said. "It's all about the kids; they are the true heroes. They are the reason I THON and will continue to do so until there is a cure."
Participating in THON was a 27-year-long dream for Ray, who's wanted to be a dancer since she finished her undergraduate degree at Penn State.
"It really means the world to me," Ray said. "It connects me to the University and it connects me to a cause that's been dear to my heart for a very long time."
THON included performances, dance competitions, a kids talent show, and a Penn State pop culture–themed line dance each hour.
Ray's goal was to learn all the words and moves to the minutes-long song.
"I promised myself by the end that I'm going to have it down," she said Saturday morning.
Learn more about the opportunities and organizations for Penn State World Campus students.