Road to THON Celebration honors volunteers, supporters

The Road to THON Celebration, an annual dinner gala honoring THON leaders, volunteers, donors and other supporters since 1979, dinner, was held Thursday evening (Jan. 24) at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

Senior Associate Director Student Activities Barry Bram, THON adviser, roasted the THON 2013's 15 overall committee chairs, an annual tradition at the Road to THON Celebration. In addition, several awards and the Rick Funk Scholarship Award honored notable THON student captains and other volunteers, and the newly established Courtney O'Bryan Award was awarded through an essay contest, administered by the O'Bryan and Brigandi families.

Invited keynote speaker Brad Heidrich shared his story as a Four Diamonds cancer survivor, from his diagnosis at age 13 to pursuing multiple Penn State degrees and his current work as a cancer researcher with Johnson and Johnson. Family speakers Sabrina Parraga and her mother, Sherri Carruthers, told Sabrina's story as a two-time Four Diamonds child, from her first diagnosis at age 4 in January 1984, to her second diagnosis in 1989, and the significance of THON during Sabrina's treatments and recovery.

To see photo highlights from the 2013 Road to THON Celebration, visit THON Weekend 2013, "Inspiring Tomorrow's Miracles," kicks off in three weeks at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Bryce Jordan Center. For more information, visit

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Last Updated February 13, 2013