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No. 1 Fayette Thon Team breaks fundraising records

2/23/2009 —

In raising $71,070 in the 2009 Thon campaign, the Penn State Fayette Thon Team broke a campus Thon fundraising record and secured the No. 1 spot again among Penn State’s 19 Commonwealth Campuses in the annual money-raising effort to fight pediatric cancer. Since its organization 12 years ago, the Fayette Thon Team has raised a total of $492,505.54 for the Four Diamond Fund charity.

The Thon dance marathon was held at the University Park Campus February 20-22. More than 700 dancers and 15,000 student volunteers, faculty, staff, alumni and family members packed the Bryce Jordan Center for the event. Penn State Fayette was represented by more than 30 students and six dancers. All six Fayette dancers made it through the grueling 46 hours of dancing.

Penn State Fayette Thon Team advisor Chad Long says, “The Thon team set and surpassed three fundraising goals this year—starting with an initial goal of $55,000. There were 36 members on this year’s Fayette Thon Team and each one worked incredibly hard. Many of these students go to school and work, so, they give up their weekends and social time to work for this charity effort. It is amazing to watch them and share in this record-breaking effort—the highest amount raised by the Fayette campus and also the highest amount raised by any of the Commonwealth Campuses in the history of Thon.”

Among Penn State’s 19 Commonwealth Campuses, the Fayette Thon Team has been in the No. 1 spot 10 of the past 12 years; the team placed second in 2005 and 2006.

Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel Osagie visited the Bryce Jordan Center over the weekend to lend his support to the Fayette Thon Team. He observes, “The Fayette students were overflowing in enthusiasm and dedication to this charity effort. They make me and the whole campus community proud of what they can do—students really putting their hearts and actions to work to make a difference. These ordinary students have demonstrated how they achieve extraordinary goals. This experience will serve them well in their future endeavors.”

Overall, this year’s Penn State University’s Thon reached a new milestone by raising $7,490,133.87 for children with cancer.

Thon is a year-round fundraising event benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund, which is striving to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research. The fundraising culminates in the no sitting, no sleeping, 46-hour dance marathon held every February called Thon (short for Dance Marathon). This collective effort has become one of Penn State’s greatest and most unifying traditions.

Any family with a child being treated for pediatric cancer at Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey is automatically eligible for support. The Four Diamonds Fund has helped more than 2,000 families since 1972. Approximately 90 new families receive support each year. The Fund offsets the cost of treatment that insurance does not cover, as well as expenses that may disrupt the welfare of the child, such as car repairs, rent, or household utilities.

The 2009 Penn State Fayette Thon Team includes: Chair Bri Nero, Advertising Captain and dancer Tiffany Blocker, Campus Programming Captain and dancer Elizabeth Wallace, Community Programming Captain Stefanie Long, Financial Captain and dancer Mike Flory, Morale Captain Hilary Griffith, Public Relations Captain Claire Slack, dancer Brittany Mihalko, dancer Stacey Newell, dancer Aaron Rovenolt, and team members James Archibald, Amanda Bassinger, Justin Bozak, Janice Collins, Erika Doppelheuer, Greg Fike, Casey Fortuna, Sarah Geska, Matt Hartman, Becky Johnson, Christina Jaynes, Donya Leichliter, Eric Long, John Marcolini, Ashley Marrero, Lindsay Miller, Nicholas Nypaver, Jeanine Piccolomini, Sara Provance, Autumn Ruse, Corey Spaw, Rebecca Springer, Audra Tewell, Annie Walkush, Brittany Washington, and Brandon Wozniak.

For more information about Thon, visit www.thon.org.

PSF Thon
The 2009 Fayette Thon dancers include (from left) Aaron Rovenolt, Mike Flory, Tiffany Blocker, Brittany Mihalko, Stacey Newell and Elizabeth Wallace.

The 2009 Fayette Thon Team.

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