THON Express 2007

16 runners and 5 drivers successfully completed the Inaugural THON Express 2007, entering the Bryce Jordan Center at 7:45pm on Friday night the 16th of February. Everyone who made the 135-mile trek from the Hershey Medical Center entered the BJC through a tunnel of moralers that stretched from the Founders Entrance of the BJC, down 2 flights of stairs, and all the way around the perimeter of the BJC to the stage. What an amazing experience to be cheered on by so many!

After the runners had completed the run, a new THON Express banner was placed on the floor where the dancers and families could read the letters sent by the families and look at the pictures of the THON Express runners along the journey. Many tears were shed in front of that banner through the course of the weekend. Families hugged each other and dancers huddled as they viewed the pictures and read the words of thanks expressed by families to the students who have supported them through THON.

THON Express 2007 would not have been possible without the generous donation by Grumbine’s of an RV and by Sutliff Hummer of an unprecedented three Hummers. Many thanks to both Tony of Grumbine’s and Ted Hoffman from Sutliff for your enthusiasm and generosity making our crazy idea of running 135 miles For the Kids a reality.

Fire Ally of Hershey donated a delicious pasta dinner for the families and runners to enjoy at the hospital Kick-off Party. Pizza Grille added the salads and Pennsylvania Bakery a beautiful cake for dessert. Nobody went hungry and we will all keep these wonderful business at the top of our list the next time we need a great meal!

After leaving the hospital, THON Express made one last stop at the Cornerstone Coffeehouse where Sue Perra held a rally to support THON Express. At Cornerstone, Sue held a cookie sale of Gabe Angus’ favorite M&M’s cookies prior to the rally and throughout the evening. In addition to a donation jar that was out for the week prior to the run, a raffle was held the night of the 15th to raise additional money for THON Express. A raffle of gift cards, a hand-made Penn State THON Express Fleece blanket, hand-made jewelry and other items helped Sue and her employees raise $600 for THON Express. Many thanks to everyone at Cornerstone for providing such an exciting atmosphere to cheer on the runners of THON Express. We are most grateful to you for helping us to raise awareness for the Four Diamonds Fund.

THON Express has arrived and is here to stay. We proved this year that the weather will not stop us. Many families and THON participants have expressed their desire to participate in next years’ event. There is much work to be done and your participation is welcome. If you would like to help us make THON Express an integral part of fundraising for the Four Diamonds Fund through THON, please send us an e-mail. Although we are not ready to choose the runners for next year, if you are interested in running next year, let us know. We have not yet determined the selection process for the next run, but we would love to hear from you.

135 in 24 FTK
Connie and Hank