It takes a lot of high spirits and helping hands to keep Penn State THON running smooth.
But there’s a team of just seven people behind the scenes who help every single person in the arena stay energized.

On Friday, 16,500 student volunteers work nonstop to kick off a 46-hour dance marathon. It’s all to host over 700 dancers and families fighting childhood cancer for THON. However, the expectations may be even higher in the kitchen.

Chefs will work this weekend to keep food coming out of the kitchen for dancers and families.

“From about four o’clock this afternoon until about two o’clock Sunday, very hectic and high energy,” Bryce Jordan Center Managing Chef Jeffrey Dover said.

Dover said the annual tradition has grown and the demand for a full-size commercial kitchen is essential.

“Well we fuel the dancers, so they are in basically in an exercise bout for two straight days,” Dover said.

Friday through Sunday, 400 pounds of chicken, 80 pounds of noodles and countless snack donations will be distributed to dancers and volunteers.

The menu is designed to keep them energized.

Chef Satchel Mantz said that at THON — carbs are critical.

“In order for them to do this, in order for them to make this incredible event possible, they have to have enough stamina to do it basically,” Mantz said.

Until the very last second, a chef will be on the clock ensuring everyone, including visiting families are taken care of.

Remembering that every contribution to THON is helping to find a cure for pediatric cancer is what makes it all worth it.

“It’s absolutely one of the best causes I can think of and to be part of. That is something I’m very proud of,” Dover said.