Last weekend for THON canning at New Kensington campus

Students at Penn State New Kensington are making their final fundraising push this weekend to benefit the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, also known as THON.

Campus students will be canning Friday, Feb. 3 to Sunday, Feb. 5, at Walmart in Pittsburgh Mills, Golden Corral in Robinson Township, Shop 'N Save on Route 286 in Holiday Park, and Community Market franchises in Lower Burrell and Penn Hills, to raise money for what is believed to be the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. The proceeds go to research of children's cancer.

THON is a University-wide event, and Lauren Richards, THON committee chair for the New Kensington campus, moved the final canning weekend up by a week after the Jan. 20 weekend was canceled due to the snow storm.

“Even though we lost a canning weekend, we aren't giving up on our goal or the kids,” said Richards, an information sciences and technology major. "We have really good fundraisers and an awesome team."

THON culminates at Penn State University Park with a 46-hour, no sitting, no sleeping marathon from Feb. 17-19 that benefits the fight against pediatric cancer. The number of dancers going to University Park from each campus is based on the amount of money raised by the campus the previous year. In 2011, New Kensington students raised $52,392, shattering the campus record of $23,000 set in 2010. Since 2002, the campus has collected more than $162,000 for the charity.

Joe Mandak, senior corporate communications major from New Kensington, Erin Prager, senior business administration major from Natrona Heights, Andrew Holodnik, senior administration of justice major from Penn Hills, and Kelsie Nury, a freshman education major from Lower Burrell will represent the New Kensington campus at THON.

The four students were chosen by an interview committee and the selections were based on participation in campus THON activities that began in September -- canning hours, meetings attended and raising at least $1,000 apiece. The dancers will join more than 700 Penn State students from all the campuses at the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend. All monies raised through the dance marathon directly benefit the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

“With everything we have faced this year, we continue to thrive on as an organization, university, team, but most of all as a family," said Nicki Thoma, a junior business major and a 2011 THON dancer.

Even though it’s the final canning event, the fundraising continues with the THON dancers send-off and potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Conference Center. Nondancers can revel in the spirit of philanthropy by purchasing apparel or making gifts online. T-shirts emblazoned with “PSNK THON” are available through Lauren Blum, student life coordinator, 724-334-6063 or ldb14@psu.edu via email. Donations can be made by visiting https://secure.imodules.com/s/1218/thon/thon.aspx?sid=1218&gid=1&pgid=671&cid=2344 online. Please be sure to designate the New Kensington campus, number 75, for the credit. For more on campus THON, contact Lauren Richards, ler5128@psu.edu or Nicki Thoma, nat5066@psu.edu.

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Last Updated February 01, 2012