Over the course of their time in college, many Penn State students spend countless hours volunteering with Penn State THON™, a student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. These dedicated students participate in a variety of ways including on committees that helps plan and facilitate events, with organizations that host fundraisers or as independent dancer couples who fundraise for an opportunity to dance for 46-hours during THON Weekend each February.
By the time of their graduation, these Penn State students have learned about the power of philanthropy and have dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours to help in our mission to conquer childhood cancer, but are often left wondering where they might utilize that experience. the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG)’s President, Maddy Pryor wants these students to know that THON doesn’t have to end when they leave Penn State. “This cause that we all love so much doesn’t have to end when we graduate,” says Maddy. “You can continue to be involved in many ways, no matter where you are after graduation.”
Established in 1984, DMAIG was originally called the “Silver Shoes Committee,” and was focused on getting alumni involved with raising money for Four Diamonds after graduation. The organization hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year in their efforts to conquer childhood cancer including their Hope from Coast to Coast races. “Beyond our own fundraisers, we are available to assist with any alumni chapter events as well,” says Maddy. There are a variety of alumni chapters across the country that host events benefitting THON and Four Diamonds including Blue White Ball, Dance For a Cure, Diamonds Over Georgia, The Hope Gala and Liberty Ball, to name a few.
In 2017, to make THON Weekend more exciting for the organization, THON gave DMAIG the opportunity to select an alumni couple to dance alongside the other 700+ dancers.. Each year the three dancer couples that raise the most amount of money are awarded the opportunity to dance during THON Weekend by DMAIG.
Anyone can get involved with the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group. Maddy got involved not long after her graduation from Penn State in 2013. She reminds all volunteers that “your time at THON does not stop after graduation, it has only begun!”
As a member of DMAIG, you become part of an international network of alumni who are actively educating their communities about THON. Members have the opportunity to be a DMAIG advocate for DMAIG in their own cities and apply to receive seed money to start an alumni fundraising events. All members are also invited to events such as the organization's fall tailgate, THON weekend reception and THON weekend happy hour. To get involved with DMAIG, visit: www.dmaig.org