Big Sendoff for Penn State THON Dancers

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DUNMORE -- More than 700 Penn State students will be getting on their feet and staying there for 46 hours straight this weekend.

THON 2016 is this weekend in Happy Valley and Thursday Penn State Worthington Scranton had a pep rally to send off the THON dancers from there. They are excited to be part of this big battle against childhood cancer.

Allan Souza and Carli Gruzesky got quite a sendoff from fellow students at Penn State Worthington Scranton in Dunmore.

But if the two from Scranton thought there was a lot of support here, wait until they are part of the scene at University Park. They are among more than 700 Penn State students who will dance in THON. And they'll be surrounded by thousands of supporters.

"It's an awesome atmosphere," said senior Carli Gruzesky. "There's so many people and they're all there for the same cause. Everyone's in such a great mood all the time. It's just really great."

"So many people auditioned to do this and knowing that they picked me and Carli to represent is a huge honor that they believe in us to represent our whole campus," said junior Allan Souza.

There was a little dancing at the sendoff but this weekend they must stay on their feet 46 hours straight, never sitting down.

"Oh, my God. I think it's going to be really hard!" Souza added.

"I've been keeping myself hydrated. I've been doing everything I can to get myself ready, but we'll see how that goes," Gruzesky said.

This is all to raise money for kids fighting cancer and their families, through the Four Diamonds Fund.

A dancer from last year says it's all worth it.

"It was the hardest thing of my life," said Penn State senior Jerry Palauskas. "It's more mental than physical, far more mental."

Asialena Bonitz is going to offer support through song, including singing the national anthem.

"Just to be part of that, actually be on the floor with the kids this year and take part in THON is just awesome," said Bonitz.

Last year, THON raised more than $13 million.

There were some changes in the fundraising this year. For safety reasons there was less "canning" on the streets for donations. But Worthington Scranton still raised more than last year, all for the kids, the children fighting a horrible disease.

"It's sad for me, but it's so awesome so many people are behind them and raising money for them," Gruzesky said.

The student dancers get on their feet at Penn State's THON Friday at 6 p.m. They get to sit down Sunday at 4 p.m.

You can watch a live stream of the whole weekend at wnep.com.

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