Mini-THON and basket bingo almost $4K for campus' THON effort

More than 170 people from the community participated recently in two Penn State New Kensington fundraisers for pediatric cancer research.

The off-campus event, Burrell Bucs Dance for a Cure, and the on-campus event, Basket Bingo Bash and Spaghetti Dinner, brought in $3,975 for THON, formally known as the Penn State Interfraternity Council/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon. The 46-hour, no sitting, no sleeping marathon in February at Penn State University Park raises money for the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

The Bucs dance featured students from Burrell High School conducting a mini-THON. The students collected money for two months and announced the total Nov. 22 after a night of bogeying. Fifty-six participants stayed on the dance floor from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and raised $3,018.

The basket bingo attracted 93 bingo-savvy participants Dec. 11 to the campus’ Conference Center. Local businesses and organizations donated 39 baskets that served as prizes. The bingo games raised $957.

Over the next two months, campus students will be hosting various events sponsored by the campus THON committee, headed by Melissa Gabrielli, a sophomore business marketing major. Upcoming fundraisers include a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, Jan. 12, in Saxonburg; FunFest Night in Harmar on Thursday, Jan. 16; and Night of Fitness on Monday, Jan. 27, at the campus. Other events are being planned. The family-oriented activities raise money for what is believed to be the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. THON is a University-wide event that is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, Feb. 21-23, at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus of Penn State.

A year ago, Penn State New Kensington students raised $43,000, third best in campus history. 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.

For more about THON events, contact Lauren Blum at 724-334-6063 or

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Last Updated January 08, 2014