Student's poker fundraiser rakes in the chips for THON

Poker with Jimmy, a poker tournament to raise money to benefit children battling pediatric cancer, is set for Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Springetts Fire Company, 3013 E. Market St., York, Pa. Penn State York THON’s group, along with Jimmy Clark, a Penn State student and cancer survivor, will raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pa. A donation of $30 in advance or $40 at the door admits players to the event at noon with games beginning at 1 p.m. 

Clark, 20, is a junior attending the Penn State University Park campus. A native of Red Lion, Pa., he is majoring in business administration. Last year, Clark was a student at Penn State York and a member of the York THON Committee. It was a dream come true for Clark when he was selected to be a dancer at THON 2013 and represent the York campus along with Kara Smith.

“Dancing at THON was amazing,” said Clark. “It was an opportunity for me to give back and to experience the event as a dancer, not just as a THON child,” he said. Dancing at THON became a goal for Clark after he attended his first THON in 2008.

In December 2008, Clark was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer in his right leg. He was treated for his cancer at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. The surgery to remove the tumor and save his leg was performed at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. 

During his battle with cancer, THON and the Four Diamonds Fund had a tremendous impact on Clark and his family. The poker tournament grew out of a desire for Clark and his family to show their appreciation for all the help they received. This is the fourth year Clark has organized a poker tournament with proceeds going to help children with cancer. Poker with Jimmy has raised more than $30,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund. The Texas Hold 'em tournament offers the first place winner a choice of prizes including a 50-inch television, an iPad Mini or an iPod Nano.

For more information on the poker tournament, please call Maura Beaver at 717-515-3472, Wanita Clark at 717-887-3126 or visit the website at

This is just one of many events sponsored by the Penn State York THON Committee leading up to the 41st annual Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), the 46-hour dance marathon, set for Feb. 21 to 23 at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College. The theme for THON 2014 is “Redefine the Possibilities!”

THON 2013 raised more than $12.3 million last year and broke its own record of more than $10.7 million, bringing the total raised in the history of the event to more than $101 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at The Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital since 1973.  In 2013, Penn State York raised more than $22,000, the largest amount the York campus has ever collected for THON.

THON, a year-round fundraising event, is the largest single donor to the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. The year culminates in a no sitting, no sleeping, two-day dance marathon. The mission of THON is to conquer pediatric cancer by providing outstanding emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund.

During THON weekend, more than 700 dancers and thousands of supporters come together at University Park in the hopes of one day finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Whether standing for 46 hours as a dancer, entertaining the crowd, taking care of the facility or even sitting in the stands, every person at THON plays a significant role in creating a community unified in support, compassion and understanding. This unity inspires students to fundraise throughout the year and lets families of the Four Diamonds Fund know that they have the care and support they need. This collective effort, involving more than 15,000 students, has become one of Penn State's greatest and most unifying traditions.

Anyone interested in supporting the dancers from Penn State York can send checks made payable to:

Penn State Dance Marathon or THON
Penn State York
1031 Edgecomb Ave.
York, PA 17403

Note "York, Org. 170" in the memo line of the check. Donations are also accepted online at Be sure to use the dropdown box and designate your donation for York and it will count toward the campus total. Donations made to the local campus THON group will be credited to the local dancers and then added to the final total at University Park.

Last Updated October 31, 2013