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LIVE FROM THON: Instant Coverage of the Penn State Dance Marathon

by on February 21, 2011 7:59 AM

7:59 a.m. Monday: We've posted a more thorough overview of THON's 2011 efforts. Here is the latest report. --AS

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4:50 p.m. Sunday: And the total: more than $9 million. Initial post-THON post. --AS

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2:21 p.m. Sunday: We're deep into Family Hour here in the Jordan Center. The house is absolutely packed -- and emotional -- as THON pays vivid tribute to children lost to cancer. Some 140 families supported through the Four Diamonds Fund have been recognized on stage and are remaining there as the tribute continues. --AS

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10:26 a.m. Sunday: Internet service has begun to get more spotty here in the Jordan Center as more people pack in for THON's final hours. That's probably going to limit StateCollege.com's ability to update the website immediately. For more instant updates, keep track of us on Twitter via @SC_THON. --AS

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7:44 a.m. Sunday: Fox News' live coverage at THON began a few minutes ago, Onward State and the Collegian reported. --AS

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7:36 a.m. Sunday: Penn State police stopped two visibly intoxicated people overnight at the Jordan Center, according to this morning's University Park police log. Both were stopped shortly after 3 a.m., the log shows. It appears they were addressed and released without any major incident. --AS

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7:27 a.m. Sunday: Unconfirmed buzz in the Jordan Center -- and we emphasize UNCONFIRMED buzz -- suggests that THON coverage on the Fox News Channel will start about 7:30 a.m. It's to be part of the "Fox and Friends" show. --AS

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7:08 a.m. Sunday: Matt Groves spent some time with THON's volunteer security team. Its members have got one another's back. Here's his story. --AS

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5:49 a.m. Sunday: Our friends at Onward State (on Twitter @THONwardstate) have been told that Fox News will carry live coverage from THON about 6:30 a.m. --AS

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5:23 a.m. Sunday: A Fox News Channel satellite truck was spotted pulling into the Jordan Center's designated media lot just about 5 a.m. We were told earlier that the cable network might show up to deliver national coverage of THON. Looks like it's on. --AS

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5:19 a.m. Sunday: Thanks to Matt Groves and Dana Reeser for their tireless work over the past 18 hours. We're now well into the home stretch: the final 12 hours of THON. Crowds in the stands are a little lighter at this hour, but the energy level remains high in the arena. --AS

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4:33 a.m. Sunday: This is most certainly the best time at Thon. Everyone everywhere is enjoying the moments. A lot of people are making memories for a lifetime in these 46 hours. I consider myself lucky just to be here to take it all in. Never a dull period here at the BJC.

--MG

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2:28 a.m. Sunday: The dancers are enjoying their Thon mail. This is certainly helping to keep their spirits strong. At this stage of the game every little bit helps.

--MG

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1:44 a.m. Sunday: I am amazed at the crowd at the BJC right now! The energy in the building is really something else. It's no wonder everyone loves this experience. The crowd is always involved and the dancers are having a blast playing with kids and dancing around.

--MG

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12:42 a.m. Sunday: Dancers Anyelika Delerme and Katie Slagel give their thoughts on the pep rally and more! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3vq1UITi5g

--MG

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12:22 a.m. Sunday: The football team won the title of best performance at the pep rally for second straight year -- with quarterback Robert Bolden leading the pack as the team danced to such '90s classics like MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This." Now, My Hero Zero is keeping the mojo going with great covers like Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer."

--MG

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9:44 p.m. Saturday: THON has passed the halfway mark, but some of the best stuff is yet to come, Dana Reeser reports. Here's her latest story. --AS

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9:10 p.m. Saturday: Crazy atmosphere at the BJC. The pep rally will be beginning shortly so I am going to be heading to th floor to take it all in. The crowd has got the wave going and some We Are Penn State chants. Pom poms have been handed out as well. This is one of the most exciting parts of Thon!

--MG

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8:40 p.m. Saturday: Kids Mail Call is a pirate theme! Everyone is having a blast in front of the stage in hopes of finding buried treasure.

--MG

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8:16 p.m. Saturday:  OPP crew is doing some work in the stage while the crowd slowly gets larger in anticipation of the nights activities. Teach Me How to Dougie was a big hit with the dancers

--Matt Groves

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7:32 p.m. Saturday: During "Thonning with the Stars," Dylan Moser is owning Travie McCoy's "Billionaire." Breakdancing, "the robot" is there anything this kid can't do?-- D.R.

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6:42 p.m. Saturday: The first line dance after the first 24 hours has begun. It looks like everyone has enough energy to dance for a week... maybe it's all those baby powder massages.-- Dana Reeser

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4:02 p.m. Saturday: No matter where you are in the world, you can get an interactive view of THON via StateCollege.com.

And if you do, you'll be in good company.

As of late Saturday afternoon, our interactive THON webcam had taken 40,185 photos as directed by our readers. That amounts to about 22 photos per minute -- or 1,296 photos an hour.

Take a look. --AS

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3:08 p.m. Saturday: We're posting photos from the second 12 hours of THON in this fresh image gallery. You won't want to miss Chewbacca -- or Darth Vader, for that matter.

Photos from the first 12 hours of THON are posted in this separate gallery. --AS

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10:58 a.m. Saturday: Cute kid alert.

Kids are strutting down the red carpet for the Fashion Show, while students offer commentary on their favorite movies and stars. The crowd is loving it.

Three Taylor Swift shout-outs so far. --M.M.

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10:19 a.m. Saturday: One of our bloggers just bumped into Penn State President Graham Spanier. Check our her updates all weekend, as she reports direct from the floor. (You can find both dancer blogs here.)

Oh, and the reaction in that picture? It's because she received a glitter ball from a friend.

At THON, it's the little things. --M.M.

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9:21 a.m. Saturday: "Sweeeet Emoooootion." Dave Joyce & the Slow Pitch Band takes the stage. --M.M.

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8:29 a.m. Saturday: For the dancers, one of the highlights of THON is the baby powder slide, a.k.a. the "Slides of Strength." We captured these photos at 4 a.m. Saturday. --M.M.

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6.14 a.m. Saturday: We just posted a piece about Lions Pride's generous Four Diamonds promotion. --M.M.

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6.05 a.m. Saturday: Corner Room breakfast is served--to the sound of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" --M.M.

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5:30 a.m. Saturday: What time is it? If you're a dancer, the answer to that question is a mystery. (Although at least one dancer we spoke to said she couldn't resist looking at her phone.) Another dancer thought it was 7 a.m.

Sorry, but breakfast is still an hour away. --M.M.

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5:05 a.m. Saturday: We've caught up with Matt Parisi and Marissa Knaus, one of the couples blogging for us.

Here's a look at them singing and dancing to Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." (We can't be positive, but it looks like they rehearsed this one.) Too bad they're so shy.

Get their latest updates from the floor here: --M.M.

crowd.

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4:00 a.m. Saturday: Clouds of baby powder fill the air as the dancers run down the "Slides of Strength" for their much-needed massages, delivered with spirited "FTK" chants. We'll post photos soon --M.M.

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2:17 a.m. Saturday: The floors of the Jordan Center are vibrating as the line dance breaks out. "You got a friend in me," the dancers shout. With the bar crowd working its way into the stands, the energy level is high. --Michele Marchetti

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12:58 a.m. Saturday: Friday was such a tease.

Those glorious, unseasonably warm temperatures were so comfortable.

But if you're headed to THON any time Saturday, you're probably going to need a jacket.

The National Weather Service has issued a high-wind warning that'll last until 9 p.m. The swift winds will make it feel like it's 14 degrees outside tonight -- and 19 degrees during the day on Saturday, according to AccuWeather.com. --AS

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12:24 a.m. Saturday: We should've mentioned this sooner, but better late than never: State College borough has loosened some of its on-street parking rules for THON weekend. You can find details on the borough's website. --AS

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12:08 a.m. Saturday: We've broken into Day 2 of THON 2011 here at the Jordan Center, and DJ Larry Moore is cranking up the heat in the middle of the night. He just played the Spice Girls' "Wannabe," and now we're being treated to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." The crowd is completely into it.

Meanwhile, we've just posted a fresh feature story, this one taking a look at how the dancers manage to stay energized. (A hint: It's not just the pasta.) --AS

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9:05 p.m. Friday: THON organizers have announced a text-to-contribute effort during THON weekend. If you're in the Jordan Center and text "FTK" to 50555, you'll donate $10 to THON. If you're not in the Jordan Center, you can text "THON" to the same number to make the same contribution.

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8:02 p.m. Friday: Two dancing couples at THON are sharing their experiences online as they happen -- moment by moment -- directly on StateCollege.com. Updates from the couples -- Marissa Knaus and Matt Parisi, and Janine Glaves and Mark Reed -- are in the THON section of the site, right on this page. --AS

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6:47 p.m. Friday: THON "moralers" are teaching the dancers this year's line dance. Onward State has posted the full lyrics.

Meanwhile, DJ Larry Moore rattled off a list of countries where the THON webcast is streaming tonight -- to an uproarious round of cheers. --AS

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6:20 p.m. Friday: The Phillie Phanatic has arrived at the Jordan Center. He danced around for a few minutes on the big stage -- to a mixture of cheers and boos from the crowd. The cheers seemed to drown out the boos, though. We'll post fresh photos in the gallery -- to the right -- soon. --AS

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6:15 p.m. Friday: Like clockwork, THON kicked off precisely at 6 p.m. after a final countdown led by Overall Chairwoman Kirsten Kelly. The first song of THON, officially, was "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan, The Daily Collegian reported via Twitter. The second song was "Magic" by B.O.B. (That one we recognized.)

All the top organizers of THON were introduced to rounds of applause right before 6 p.m.

THON '11 has officially begun. Also, organizers announced that "FTK-friendly" messages sent to THONTEXT@gmail.com may appear on the big video screens this weekend at the Jordan Center. They're encouraging messages of support for THON dancers. --AS

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5:36 p.m. Friday: The tenor of the pre-THON show has changed in the past 20 minutes. Members of the Four Diamonds Fund's advisory board appeared on the big stage, helping to rev up the dancers. They also expressed gratitude for the students' fundraising efforts.

Said Four Diamonds Fund founder Charles Millard: "You people are fantastic. You have made Four Diamonds what it is. ... I thank you very much."

A dance group just performed contemporary dance on the stage, and ballet dancers have now taken the spotlight. They're all part of a visual, musical presentation telling the whimsical children's story that's associated with the Four Diamonds Fund. --AS

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5:13 p.m. Friday: So far, the pre-THON show is a laser-heavy event with somewhat-trippy, somewhat-techno-ish music pumping. (Forgive the descriptors.) The light's low; the lasers are shooting multi-colored beams across the arena. Most of the dancers are sitting on the floor while they can. Once THON officially starts at 6 p.m., they won't be able to sit down until Sunday afternoon. --AS

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4:45 p.m. Friday: The dancers have arrived in grand fashion, walking -- and bouncing -- through the human tunnel onto the dance floor. Music is filling the arena now. Dancers walked in to a variety of tunes, including Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me," Katy Perry's "Calfornia Gurls," Taio Cruz's "Dynamite," Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" and Orianthi's "According to You."

Also, the first "We Are!" cheer of the weekend has made its appearance. --AS

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4:21 p.m. Friday: StateCollege.com writer Dana Reeser has put together a great event guide for people who plan to visit THON this weekend. You'll find it here. --AS

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4:11 p.m. Friday: The doors to the public have opened at the Jordan Center. Student supporters are streaming into the arena -- equipped with signs, blankets, banners, backpacks -- all kinds of spirited stuff. It's getting louder in here, little by little. --AS

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3:54 p.m. Friday: We're just about a half-hour away from the arrival of the dancers here in the Jordan Center. Lots of cheers are going around the dance floor. Student volunteers by the dozens are raising the energy level. Funky stuff with lasers is happening up on stage.

-- Adam Smeltz

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3:16 p.m. Friday: THON Overall Chairwoman Kirsten Kelly said set-up and preparations at the Jordan Center have gone really well today. But unfortunately for the Paterno faithful, Coach Joe Paterno isn't expected to make a THON appearance this year. Read more from a pre-THON press conference held earlier this afternoon.

-- Adam Smeltz

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2:42 p.m. Friday: Our friends at Onward State have launched a THON live blog, too. They're sending THON-related tweets from @THONwardstate.

-- Adam Smeltz

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2:05 p.m. Friday: As thousands converge on the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend for the annual Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, StateCollege.com will deliver a variety of coverage direct from the scene.

Regular updates on THON happenings will be provided right here, in our "LIVE FROM THON" blog. We'll also have an array of photo galleries, dancer blogs, live camera images, articles and other multimedia features. You'll be able to find links to much of the coverage via our StateCollege.com THON page.

For StateCollege.com's THON-related alerts and coverage on Twitter, follow us @SC_THON. You can find us on Facebook, too.

Of course, as always, StateCollege.com welcomes and encourages tips, observations, submitted photos and other input from readers. The best way to get our attention is to give us a shout on Twitter -- using @SC_THON -- or to send us an e-mail: adam.smeltz@statecollege.com.

StateCollege.com is a proud sponsor of THON. The 46-hour marathon will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday.

-- Adam Smeltz

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The staff of StateCollege.com prepared this article. Reach us at (814) 238-6201.
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