• A General Organization benefiting THON.






    Check out our site for org members - events, announcements, and other important information can be found here!


    The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences benefiting THON is a family of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters. As an extension of the intrinsic passion and close-knit community of the college, members serve as outstanding leaders at Penn State by excelling academically while providing dedicated support to THON, the Four Diamonds Fund, and families whose lives have been touched by pediatric cancer. We provide our adopted families with emotional stability and build relationships that we will cherish far into the future. Our unwavering commitment keeps us motivated to fundraise relentlessly and honorably, while remembering what THON is truly about: helping the families.

    We are One College, One Love, One Fight.

    The Brewers

    Lynn, Butch, Troy, Tommy, Danielle, LeLand, Logan, Sonny, Patti, and Nana

    Fredericksburg, PA

    The Brewers became our first THON family paired with our organization in 2004. Our organization was graced with an entire household of love.  Lynn and Butch, strong loving parents, their two close friends Sonny and Patti, Lynn's caring mother Nana, their two sons, Troy and Tommy, and now Tommy's wife Danielle and their two children, LeLand and Logan. The Brewers were paired with our THON organization when Troy was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma at fourteen years old. He was a spitfire teenager who loved hunting and sweet-talking the ladies (all his nurses included). Somehow, while receiving treatment at Hershey Medical Center, he was always able to convince the nurses to let him pull whatever trick he had up his sleeve that day. Troy became a part of our family, and we are a part of his. Our members would make frequent visits with the Brewers. It's no surprise that Troy was always sweet-talking our female members and joking around with the guys. He loved to make others smile and laugh. Troy passed away from pediatric cancer in March of 2006, after living a fuller life than many older men. The Brewers and our organization were devastated, but with Troy passing it was never more clear to our organization how important it is for us to THON. We THON every day in Troy's memory. We THON to keep his smile alive, and to protect other families from having to experience what Butch and Lynn have gone through.  

    The Woods

    Lisa, Ryan, Moriah, Lauren, Michael, Anna, Joey, Christopher, Matthew, and Jonathan

    Greencastle, PA

    The Woods became our organization’s second family in spring of 2006. In addition to the Brewers, we have the loving parents Lisa and Ryan, and their EIGHT children Moriah, Lauren, Michael, Anna, Andrew, Christopher, Matthew, and Jonathan! The Woods have adopted us into their family, having as many as 30 of us over at a time. We frequently visit for birthday parties, canning weekends, long weekends, and to baby-sit. Their son, Michael, had pediatric cancer, and is now 10 years cancer free! He is a fun-loving, laid-back fifteen year old, with a huge personality. EMS has been lucky enough to get to know all of the Woods children, and we cherish our relationships with each of them. With the Woods, we celebrate life, progress, and health. We THON so other families can have the blessing that the Woods had with Michael, and so families can experience the love the Woods share every day. We THON so one day, every THON family can celebrate their child being cancer free.

    The Hollingers

    Michelle, Jeff, Ian, Jordan, and Jackson

    Mount Joy, PA

    The Hollinger family was paired with our organization in 2013. We were so lucky to receive two more loving parents, Jeff and Michelle, their sons Ian, Jordan, and Jackson, and of course, their cats (five) as well! On July 13th, 2012, Jackson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Fortunately, by August of the same year, Jackson was in remission, but his treatment was far from over. Three years later, on Thursday, November 12th, Jackson finished his last chemo treatment!  We stood with him as he rang the bell to symbolize the conclusion of pediatric cancer treatment!  Though he still goes to Hershey for appointments, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight for the Hollingers.  Jackson shows us the true meaning of strength as he continues to fight through his long treatment process. As we get to know the Hollingers, they are a constant reminder that "THON is today." Cancer doesn't take holidays, it is present and kids are fighting every day. We THON for the health and happiness of the kids currently undergoing treatment. We THON today, so they can laugh and play tomorrow and for years to come.

    The Schmidts

    AnnaMarie, Jeff, and Emily

    The Schmidts are the newest edition to our EMS Family after being paired with us in 2015. Emily was diagnosed with cancer in March, 2015 and is currently still undergoing treatment. Emily loves Frozen, hula hooping, and country music and rocks her cowboy boots at every THON event! The Schmidts empower us to work tirelessly to ensure that every kid has the childhood they deserve and so we can one day dance (and hula hoop) in celebration!

  • Since our inception in 2003 we have

    RAISED OVER $700,000



    Since our birth in 2003, we have had 10 very successful years at THON.  In the past decade we have raised over $600,000 and in 2015 we reached a record high total of $137,763.29 for the year.  

    Our organization was founded in 2003 with a group of 20 active members. Ten years later, we have expanded to over 100 active members. We have grown from making a few thousand dollars for our first THON, to being named the "Number One General Organization" for the past four years and raising over $130,000 last year for the kids. We pride ourselves on the community feeling we have within our group and the vision of our group. We strive to remain a close-knit group of science and engineering students that work towards the common goal of finding a cure for pediatric cancer. We work hard to instill the true meaning of being a part of THON and how our work effects the lives of Four Diamonds families. While we believe it is extremely important to raise money for THON, we work equally as hard to create lasting relationships with each other and our THON families.

  • "One day we will dance in celebration, until then



    Meet our Exec Board!

    Victoria Christensen

    Executive Director

    "Hi there! I am a Junior majoring in Materials Science and Engineering from Lansdale, PA, a suburb just north of Philadelphia. I couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity to facilitate communication and relationships between our Board, our Organization, our College, and the rest of the THON Community."



    Fun Fact: I am a triplet!


    Lydia Scheel

    Donor & Alumni Relations Director

    "Hi there! I'm a Senior majoring in Energy Business and Finance from Youngstown, OH. I am the facilitator of communication between EMS Faculty & Staff, corporate, small business, & individual Donors, our Alumni, and our Org. I'm so excited for the coming year and to spread THON's mission For The Kids! .”


    Fun Fact: I tutor students in public speaking!

    Quinn Garvey

    Family Relations Director

    "Hey guys! My name is Quinn Garvey and I am a senior majoring in Environmental Systems Engineering. I am from Havertown Pa, and I will be working with Lauren to help build and facilitate our relationships with our four amazing families!"


    Fun Fact: Even though I am Hispanic my hips do lie!

    Lauren Ragland

    Family Relations Director

    "My name is Lauren Ragland. I'm a sophomore studying Earth Science and Policy. My position requires giving lots of hugs and having a lot of play dates and working with Quinn to spread the love between the org and our families. Our families make EMS THON who we are as an org and it's our job to make sure we never lose sight of why we THON."


    Fun Fact: I was born on a toilet. No, I didn't fall in.

    Lissie Poyner

    Fundraising Director

    “Hey guys! I'm a senior in Energy Engineering and I'm from Tinton Falls, New Jersey. My job as Fundraising Director is to facilitate alternative fundraisers within our org that raise money and spread awareness, FTK! I'm beyond excited to see all that we can do for THON 2017!”


    Fun Fact: You'll rarely find me without a cup of coffee in my hands.

    Shannon Stellato

    Canning Director

    "Hey! I'm a junior majoring in Energy Engineering from Long Island, NY. I plan our canning and canvassing trips to bring us closer together as an org and spread THON’s mission all while raising money For The Kids!"


    Fun Fact: Over spring break I learned that wild boars love marshmallows!

  • What Your Donation Does

    With 96 cents of every dollar donated to THON going directly to the Four Diamonds, there are no limits to what your donation can do for a cancer patient.


    One hour of music therapy


    One hour of Child Life Coverage


    One hour of Counseling for families, patients, and siblings with a psychologist


    One day of outpatient treatment for a Leukemia Patient


    Helps buy one wig for a patient who has lost his or her hair


    The link will take you to our Peer-to-Peer Page--our connection to potential donors. Just fill out the form with your payment information and proceed until you reach the confirmation screen. Thank you in advance for your donation.

    Every penny helps fight pediatric cancer!


    If donating by check, please make it out to "The Penn State Dance Marathon" and in the memo section write "The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Org #105". You can then either mail the check to our organization address at:



    14K Deike Building, Ryan Family Student Center

    University Park, PA 16802


    or email our Donor and Alumni Relations director, Lydia, at scheel@psu.edu to find a time when the check can be picked up.

  • Social Feed

    Check out our latest updates!


    These seven students represented The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences during THON 2016. They danced for 46 hours For The Brewers, For The Woods, For The Hollingers, For The Schmidts, For The Kids.


    Brandon Freeman

    Senior, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

    How would you describe THON in one sentence?


    “It is indescribable and needs to be experienced in order to appreciate what it is and stands for.”


    You have to perform your favorite boy band song THON Weekend. What is it?


    Dirty Pop by NSYNC


    You could put the BJC on wheels. Where would you put THON?


    Still in the BJC, but keep it rolling.

    Josh Gugel

    Senior, Meteorology


    What is your favorite THON memory?

    My favorite memory would have be my first real experience with EMS THON which was my first canning weekend. Seeing how generous people were to help others showed me what THON was all about and how big it was. I loved dancing and making people smile all day for a great cause. I made lasting friends and memories on that trip. It made me want to get involved as much as I could and sparked my passion for THON.


    You have to cook dinner for everyone at THON, what do you cook?

    If I were cook dinner for everyone at THON, I would individually cook everyone their favorite meal. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. All of the Four Diamonds families deserve something nice and all of the THON volunteers have worked so hard throughout the year. My favorite thing to cook is buffalo chicken dip which I guess could be a dinner if you wanted.


    Holly Lowry

    Senior, Meteorology


    What would you do with 13.3 million dollars (you can't donate it)?

    I would:

    -buy my family anything they wanted because they buy me everything I want already

    -SPOIL the heck out of my baby nephew

    -buy the most expensive dessert in the world

    -pay Miley Cyrus to be my best friend and grow out her hair :(

    -take my mom to hug the Pope

    -pay to have a layer of the atmosphere named after me


    What part of THON weekend are you most looking forward to?
    My best friends being forced to hang out with me for 46 hours straight! And seeing my family/all new Four Diamonds families experience THON and all its majesty for the first time!

    Shelby L. Miller

    Senior, Environmental Systems Engineering

    What is your go to dance move THON weekend?

    My go-to dance move THON weekend will most likely be the bernie or the stanky leg because everyone kind of looks ridiculous/weird when they dance that way and THON is a great place for everyone to act a little goofy!


    What is your fifth diamond?

    My fifth diamond is perseverance. Perseverance is the steady persistence in a course of action, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles and setbacks. I believe day in and day out all Four Diamonds Families and THON volunteers have perseverance. It is an essential trait in the fight against cancer.


    What is your favorite accessory to wear THON weekend?

    Simple, a fanny pack. The fanny pack has surpassed all my expectations these last three years during THON weekend. The convenience of wearing a fanny pack is UNREAL. I don’t know how well it will work for 46 hours though. I foresee it getting in the way of my dancing hips within the first couple hours, so it might have to take a break in my dancer storage locker!

    Maggie Norton

    Senior, Geography

    If you could bring one celebrity to THON, who would it be?

    Easily Tom Brady. Not only because he is my favorite football player of all time, but because he is Michael Woods’ favorite too! We would totally freak out together and it would be incredible.


    What will be your go to dance move THON weekend?

    It will definitely be the whip. After doing it basically every day at the camp I worked at this summer, I am very excited to whip at least once per hour with the rest of the BJC!


    What part of THON weekend are you most looking forward to?

    I am most looking forward to seeing the reactions of people experiencing THON for the first time--new members of our org, new families like The Schmidts, and my own family. I can’t wait to see each of them share the most amazing weekend of the year with the rest of the THON community!

    Kim Schmid

    Senior, Geoscience

    How would you describe THON in one sentence?

    “THON is all of the love, passion, unity, happiness, and magic in the entire universe crammed into State College for 46 hours - it's basically Disney World times 10,000.”


    What would you do with 13.3 million dollars (you can't donate it)?

    I would buy a lifetime pass to the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and then pay to guest star on it every week. On each episode we would alternate between playing "Word Sneak" (look it up on YouTube) and "Pup Quiz" (topic: Penn State trivia). I would use the rest of the money to buy a enormous cabin in the Rocky Mountains, which of course would be decorated with tons of cool rocks.


    Max Vido

    Senior, Meteorology

    Favorite THON Memory:

    I have so many great memories from THON weekend that it’s hard to pick just one. Outside of THON weekend, one memory particularly stands out. My sophomore year, I traveled to the Brewers for the 2nd canning trip. Canning has always been a way for our organization to grow closer together, where we spend time raising money for a great cause while building relationships. It is also a time where you can show off some dance moves to complete strangers. This trip was no different, but it was also my first chance to get to know the Brewers. Lynn and Butch shared Troy’s story with the group on Saturday night, which was a very special moment and something that I will always remember.


    What is your favorite accessory to wear THON weekend?

    My favorite THON weekend accessory is without a doubt the fanny pack. If you ever find yourself asking…Where do I conveniently keep all of these little things without having to reach around to my back? Well, you definitely need to get a fanny pack. At my freshman and sophomore year THONs, I was incredibly skeptical of the fanny pack. I thought, the only time I’ve ever seen someone wear one of those was my mom at an amusement park, or my aunt when I went on bike rides. Totally not cool. Well, last year at THON, I tried out the ol’ Fanny pack. If I needed a pencil…I had it right there. Hand sanitizer? Got it. Not wearing shorts with pockets? Well, the fanny pack can store all of the things you would put in your pocket. For so many years, my stubbornness blinded me from all of the incredible uses of the fanny pack. If you see me at THON 2016, you will certainly see the fanny pack on my hip.


    If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by filling out the form below, or by emailing emsdirector@psu.edu.  Thanks!


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