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Football Team Hosts THON Families in Lasch Building

by and on February 22, 2015 6:30 AM

While over in the Bryce Jordan Center all 708 dancers and thousands of spectators stood, danced, and played, about 30 Four Diamonds Families got a unique experience with members of the football team across the street at the Lasch Building.

Families were paired up with a member or two, or in some cases four, of the football team for an afternoon in its main building. The families were first greeted with a human tunnel as they funneled through the entrance.

The festivities started as the families and athletes gathered in the building’s auditorium, where members of the team introduced themselves, along with a fun fact, weird question, or occasionally a small performance. Herb Hand even joined in with what can only be described as a sick freestyle rap.

Tight end Adam Breneman then danced to “Uptown Funk,” much to the delight, or horror, of families and teammates. The team and families gathered for a group picture, and raised their Four Diamonds to show support for the weekend.

After the families paired up with their respective players, they began a tour of the facilities, starting with the main upstairs lobby, where they were able to take pictures with trophies like the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl, the Dan Rooney Trophy from Penn State’s Ireland victory, and even the now-restored 2006 Orange Bowl trophy.

Then it was on to the weight room, where THON children were able to play around with the weight machines while the football players helped them. The tour ended with an exclusive look at the team locker room, making for great photo opportunities for the kids and their football counterparts. 

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Running back Akeel Lynch helped his THON child with tricep pushdowns during his tour of the Lasch weight room. “It’s great to just give back,” he says. “It’s pretty amazing to see just aside from playing football we have an impact on these kids lives.”

“It’s amazing,” he continued. It’s what Penn State is all about.” Once the tour ended, the families were treated to an ice cream social with the football players in the players’ lounge, allowing the kids and athletes to bond on a closer level, over a nice bowl of ice cream and some video games. Christian Hackenberg enjoyed a special game of Super Smash Bros. with his THON child.

“I’m going to let [the families] have their day,” he says. “It’s what it’s all about.”

The break from THON ended for everyone right after that, as the team and families journeyed together back to the Bryce Jordan Center to participate in athlete hour. Overall, the two hour experience was a perfect opportunity for families and football players to get away from the craziness of THON and have some time to experience the weekend on a more personal level.

“All we do is play football,” says tackle Andrew Nelson. “They’re out there fighting for their lives right now.”


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This post was originally published by the staff at Onward State. Follow Onward State on Twitter @OnwardState.

Mike writes for Onward State
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