Feel GOOD Friday…Penn State Dance MaraTHON

I have to start today with a shoutout to my friends JUSTINE and BRYAN, who are officially ENGAGED, as of yesterday!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!!! Justine, I was sad to see you leave Hoboken/NYC area, but I am so glad you did and that you took that leap of faith to move in with Bryan.  I wish you guys all the best as you start planning the best day of your lives.  This is going to be one of the best Christmases for you both and what an exciting New Year!!!!! YAY!  My heart is so full today!!!!!!!!

And now for some more uplifting stuff…

I couldn’t be more proud to be a Penn Stater.  The four years I spent at University Park are years that I will be forever grateful for and look back on with a smile.  When searching for a college to attend, I was convinced that I wanted to go to the University of Maryland.  At this point in my life, I can’t really remember why I chose University of Maryland as my first choice, but I thought, at the time, that I loved everything about it.  When I got a rejection letter from the University of Maryland, my heart sunk.  I still remember seeing the small envelope from the UMD, and knowing what it contained.  A few weeks later however, I received a PACKAGE from Penn State University with bold print on the envelope saying, Welcome to the Pennsylvania State University.  I was ecstatic, and actually still have the envelope and the letter stating that I was accepted.  It was simply the best feeling in the world and I think I sent back my confirmation that I would be there that Fall, the very same day.  It is funny because I still remember saying “screw you, Maryland, your loss!”  Looking back, it was actually such a gift to get to go to Main Campus that Fall.  I already had one friend that I knew would be attending with me, my friend Meredith, who I talked about in a previous post.  I also had Turbo and Bill to introduce me to the Fraternity scene…what could be better than a whole house full of boys (Sorry, Dan…)?! It is now that I can look back and honestly say that everything happens for a reason.  As cliche as that saying is, I try my best to remind myself of it often, even if I can’t figure out the reason immediately.

Today’s Feel GOOD Friday is in honor of an event that I hold very close to my heart which is the Penn State Dance MaraTHON! THON is the largest student run philanthropy that raises millions of dollars each year for the Four Diamonds Fund.  The Four Diamonds Fund is a fund for families that receive the devastating news that their child has cancer.  With the funds raised, families no longer have to worry about the financial burden that can take a toll on those affected.  To learn more about the history of THON click here: http://thon.org/About/2010s

One of the great ways alumni stay involved in THON is through the Hope Gala.  The NYC Hope Gala is an evening filled with auctions, dancing, eating and fun!  There is typically a family that is honored that year that shares their story and specifically how the Four Diamonds Fund helped them when they needed it most.  This year there will be a Leah Still Award for Courage given to Ryan McGarry. You can read more on the award and the recipient here:  https://onwardstate.com/2015/12/09/hope-gala-to-honor-ryan-mcgarry-with-leah-still-award-for-courage/

If you, your employer, or your friends or family are looking for an amazing way to give back during this season of giving, THON is a great place to look to.  Your donations will be used for various needs of local families.  To donate to THON, click here:  http://donate.thon.org (If you would like your donation to go towards organizations’ totals, please select Alpha Phi to credit )!!

Thank you for reading and have a fun WEEKEND 🙂

Here are my pictures of the day:

Still so proud of my friends Justine, Drea, Michelle, and Wags for staying on their feet and smiling for 46 hours straight- no sleeping or sitting!!!  They did such a great job and I had so much fun with them, especially the last 4 hours on the floor!!  I still remember when Drea requested funfetti cupcakes, so I ran to the store and back to our apt to make them and when I brought them back, she was so delirious, she asked me why I made cupcakes haha.  One of the best weekends ever!!!!!!!!

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