New Kensington raises $43,000 for THON; third-best in campus history

The THON committee at Penn State New Kensington, headed by sophomore Kelsie Nury, raised $43,000 for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) that benefits the Four Diamonds Fund and the fight against pediatric cancer. The total is the third best in campus history.

The four New Kensington campus student dancers -- Aric Fellers, Leigh Hastings, Courtney Rockwell and Bill Staniszewski -- joined more than 700 dancers from across the University and stayed on their feet for the entire 46-hour event, Feb. 15 to 17, in the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University Park.

“THON weekend was amazing and unforgettable,” said Nury, a hotel, restaurant and institutional management major. “Our students were great moralers in the stands, and our dancers were phenomenal”

Nury, a product of Burrell High School, is an experienced THON participant, first as a dancer in 2012, then as campus THON chair this year. During her two years in a THON leadership role, the New Kensington campus has raised more than $93,000, the most for any student who served as chair or dancer. The second best total is $82,000 by Deanna Mazur, a 2011 graduate from the campus’ business administration program. Mazur took an opposite track of Nury and chaired the THON committee before turning to dancing. She served as chair for two years and set the then-campus record of $23,000 in 2010. As a dancer, she helped set the current standard of $52,000 a year later. Kelly Sieja, who earned a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology in 2011, chaired the historic record-setting event.

In the past three years, the New Kensington THON committee has collected more than $144,000, more than double the total from the past nine years combined. Since 2002, campus students have raised $260,000 to support pediatric cancer patients, families and researchers.

Overall, THON set a new record, raising $12,374,034.46 for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, surpassing last year's record $10.68 million. Funds raised by THON go to support the Four Diamonds Fund and its pediatric cancer patients, families and researchers at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital who are working to find better treatments and, ultimately, cures for forms of cancer that afflict children. First held in 1973, THON has partnered with the Four Diamonds Fund since 1977 and in that time has raised more than $100 million FTK -- "For The Kids." More than 15,000 students participated in making THON 2013 happen, including the thousands of students who helped them raise funds throughout the year, and thousands more who volunteered during THON weekend to boost dancers' morale, kept them fed and entertained, made sure they stayed safe and shared the THON experience around the world via streaming video.

“I could not imagine anything greater than taking four great dancers with 25 great students and walking out of the BJC with a total of $12.3 million,” said Nury, a resident of Lower Burrell.

The campus total is sixth best among all Penn State commonwealth campuses and second among the western campuses that comprise Beaver, Fayette, DuBois, Greater Allegheny, Shenango and New Kensington.

Donations continue to be accepted online at To credit the New Kensington campus, donors should go to “Gift and Dancer Support,” click the button “Click to support the THON Organization or Dancer of your choice” and designate New Kensington, which is listed under General Organizations.
For more on campus THON, contact Lauren Blum, student life coordinator, 724-334-6063 or via email.
For more on THON, visit

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Last Updated February 20, 2013