New Kensington THON activities continue with fitness night, spaghetti dinner

With a month to go before the granddaddy of fundraising events, Penn State New Kensington is picking up the donations pace in January with a series of activities that supports Penn State’s annual dance marathon, aka THON. The schedule features a fitness night and a spaghetti dinner.

The campus THON committee, headed by Melissa Gabrielli, is sponsoring a series of events in January to raise funds for the University-wide event that benefits the Four Diamonds Fund, whose goal is to fight childhood cancer, at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. THON, formally known as Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, culminates with a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping marathon from Feb. 21-23, at the University Park campus. Over the next four weeks, students from all Penn State campuses will be raising money for what is believed to be the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

The fundraising cycle cranked up during the fall semester with two canning weekends, a Zumba night and a spaghetti dinner. Night of Fitness runs from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Athletics Center. Carol Sheffler, fitness instructor, will lead Zumba, and Pepsi Umberger, instructor in kinesiology at the campus, will direct the yoga activities that are geared to beginners (low impact) and veterans (high impact). The cost is $10 per person, and water, granola bars, fruit and other healthy snacks will be available to participants. Students are admitted for $5 with valid Penn State ID cards.

The spaghetti dinner is set from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Saxonburg VFW in Saxonburg, Pa. The menu features salad, bread, tea/orange juice/water/coffee, spaghetti with meat sauce or plain marinara, and various desserts. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children under 10, and free for children 3 years old and younger. Takeout is available.

Gabrielli, a sophomore business marketing major, is looking to top last year’s total of $43,000, third best in campus history. The $52,000 total in 2011 is the campus standard. 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

Media Contacts: 

Bill Woodard

Work Phone: 
Home Phone: 
Cell Phone: 

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated January 22, 2014