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Dancing for a Cure: Phi Sig THON Participant Shares His Story

George Filippatos (left) with other dancers at THON 2017.

Phi Sigma Kappa is a fraternity that is rich tradition. One its traditions is the commitment to the service of others. George Filippatos ‘18 was able to uphold this tradition by dancing in Penn State’s annual dance marathon (THON) for pediatric cancer.

George had no idea what to expect when he first attended THON in 2015.  He and a few of his pledge brothers showed up late on Saturday night and planned on only staying for a couple hours. It was such an eye-opening experience that George and his brothers stayed until the very end on Sunday afternoon.

“Seeing so many different people able to work together to affect such a large number of families in such a meaningful way was amazing to me,” said George.

The stories he heard from families battling pediatric cancer inspired George to get involved. As a dancer in the 2017 THON, George was required to stand for 46 hours straight. He said what helped get him through those 46 hours was the wall of family stories. This wall included 70 posters made by Four Diamonds families explaining their struggles with pediatric cancer.

“Reading these stories really helped put the whole weekend into perspective and reminded me why we were doing this,” he said.

George’s experience with THON made him thankful for every opportunity that he has been presented with. He took pride in being able advocate Phi Sigma Kappa’s traditions while “dancing for the cure."

“Getting to help others and to be part of something larger than yourself are both rewarding experiences,” he said.

George also received endless support from his fraternity brothers. Many of them wrote him letters with words of encouragement that helped him push through until the end. The formation of these strong bonds is what made George want to join Phi Sigma Kappa his freshman year.

Out of the 20 houses I went to at some point during rush, Phi Sig was by far the most welcoming,” he said. “And it had a noticeably better sense of brotherhood.”

Throughout his time with Phi Sigma Kappa, George has served as President, Treasurer, Comptroller, and Social Chairman. He is now serving as Sentinel.

“The leadership experience I gained while being a part of Phi Sigma Kappa will be invaluable,” George said.

George’s involvement both with THON and with Phi Sigma Kappa have taught him how to work with a diverse group of individuals. He feels truly privileged for the knowledge he has gained. Dancing for 46 hours straight allowed George to gain a new perspective and a realization for what is important.

“It made me extremely proud to be a part of the community responsible for such an amazing thing,” he said.