The 46-hour Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) once again has set a new record, raising $10,686,924.83 for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, surpassing last year's record $9.56 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 Four Diamonds Fund since 1977 and in that time has raised more than $89 million FTK -- "For The Kids."
When Penn State student Elaine Tanella heads to campus, she knows that she is going to have a busy day; not because of a heavy course load, but because she runs the largest student-run philanthropy in the world: the Penn State Dance Marathon, commonly known as THON. A fifth-year bioengineering senior, she serves as the 2012 THON overall chairwoman, a year-long position which includes responsibilities such as outlining goals and new ideas for this weekend's upcoming dance marathon (Feb. 17-19), as well as overseeing more than 15,000 volunteers who make THON happen.
Penn State sophomore Maddie Sherlock was a freshman in high school when her brother Carl, then 20 and a Penn State student, got sick. A trip to the emergency room of Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College turned into a helicopter trip to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where ultimately he was diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor. "Why he got a pediatric tumor at the age of 20 no one knows, but it does happen and it did to our family," said Susie Sherlock about her son's diagnosis. She also said, "THON is a wonderful thing, and Four Diamonds is a wonderful thing. We feel very fortunate that the night they life-flighted Carl from Mount Nittany they sent him to Hershey."
For the first time since its inception in 2007, the executive speaker series at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, Leadership in Focus: Executive Insights, will host a current Penn State student as a featured speaker. Elaine Tanella, overall chair of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, will be the college's guest speaker on Feb 24.
Tanella, a senior Schreyer Scholar majoring in bioengineering with a minor in Italian, will join Smeal Dean James B. Thomas for an interactive on-stage conversation at 11:15 a.m. in the Business Building's Struthers Auditorium (110 BB) on the University Park campus. The talk is free and open to the public.
After lengthy consultations with senior-level meteorologists who have experience forecasting weather in locations frequently traveled to by THON volunteers for canister solicitation (referred to often as "canning"), THON has chosen to cancel the third canister solicitation weekend. There are reports of significant icing across these regions Friday night into Saturday afternoon, which presents dangerous conditions for travel as well as canister solicitation.
As of Monday (Jan. 16), Penn State's Dance Marathon (THON) is conducting mandatory "canning workshops" for all Penn State student volunteers who wish to participate in canister solicitation, also known as "canning." These workshops will continue in future years to educate students about personal and travel safety, THON guidelines and policies, general courtesy and safe, legal canning practices while they are off campus raising funds to fight pediatric cancer. The workshops are being held "in an effort to ensure complete understanding of the policies and guidelines for canning," and will review "safe canning practices, travel safety guidelines, general courtesy and THON information," according to a notice to THON volunteers, posted at http://thon.org/students/THONCanningWorkshops online.
Tuesday, Nov. 15, marks the fifth annual THON Faculty and Staff Luncheon, held at the Hintz Family Alumni Center on the University Park campus. THON has raised more than $78 million for the Four Diamonds Fund, which offers financial and emotional support for children and families fighting pediatric cancer and also supports pediatric oncology research at the Penn State College of Medicine. All faculty and staff are invited to the free luncheon; an RSVP is requested by Friday, Oct. 28.
The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon's 11th annual 5K race -- the largest 5K in central Pennsylvania -- is accepting applications for its race and "fun run" to be held Sunday, Oct. 23, on Penn State's University Park campus. All proceeds from the race will go toward the 2012 Dance Marathon fundraising total, which will be donated to the Four Diamonds Fund and the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates will donate a portion of proceeds from ticket sales to Penn State's Dance Marathon during "Penn State Night benefiting THON" on Friday, June 3, at Pittsburgh's PNC Park. The game against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies starts at 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.pirates.com/pennstate online or by calling 412-325-4928. Groups of 15 or more are encouraged to call for tickets.