By Sydney Shaw
Co-sponsored by Inter-Greek Council and Student Government, the dance-a-thon TCNJam was held in the Brower Student Center on Saturday, Jan. 31, to raise money and awareness for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation.
The organization funds pediatric cancer research and encourages people to “Live Like Andrew,” meaning that individuals should set goals, strive to be their best, show affection and be comfortable with themselves.
The event, which lasted from noon to midnight, is comparable to Penn State’s “Thon.”
“Everyone has been working so hard for so long,” said Navid Radfar, a senior biology major who was instrumental in organizing the event with his Student Government committee. “To see it finally come to fruition is amazing.”
The area where students usually sit and eat food from the Lions Den during Meal Equivalency was cleared and decorated for the all-night dance party. Colorful streamers wound around the cement pillars, balloons were tied everywhere and signs bearing inspirational messages were hung on the walls.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,” one read. Other signs encouraged participants and their teams to donate to the B+ foundation.
Of the 27 teams, at least five individuals had to be dancing for the full 12 hours.
“It was amazing,” said junior history and secondary education double major Dane West, who attended TCNJam to represent his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. “I’ve never been a part of an event like that before. To see all of Greek Life and Student Government come together to raise that much money was honestly inspirational.”
As the night wound down and the lights turned off, the Student Center turned into a sea of students wearing glow-necklaces and was flooded with colorful lights.
In addition to the dance-a-thon, there were arcade games, air hockey tables, a DJ contest and zealous matches of Dance Dance Revolution. TCNJam was also replete with a corn hole tournament, minute-to-win-it games and musical chairs.
“There was a Zumba session as well,” West said. “And some of the B+ heroes were there, so it was awesome to see them, too.”
The “heroes” are children who have beaten cancer. Select on-campus organizations supported the B+ Foundation by spending time with them, Radfar explained.
“My fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, has a hero named Will who beat cancer,” he said. “We took him to a football game and raised money for him.”
The fraternity hung a banner for Will at the event decorated with images of his favorite things, such as Batman and the New York Giants.
Many of the heroes were in attendance at TCNJam and were presented with gifts during the activities.
At the end of the evening, students held up signs that read “$50,566.54 for our heroes.”
“I hope we get even more organizations involved next year,” West said.
Last semester, TCNJam was shot down by the Student Finance Board, and the event scheduled for Monday, Nov. 8, had to be cancelled. It was later approved for $30,000. Additionally, a 5K was held in November to raise money and awareness for the B+ Foundation and TCNJam.