Penn Staters roll out red carpet for THON in Hollywood

January 05, 2012

Alumni and friends of Penn State living in Southern California plan to roll out the red carpet for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon with a special event in January.

With a Mini-THON, celebrity appearances and silent auction at the historic Avalon Hollywood on Jan. 29, organizers hope the event -- dubbed "Lights. Camera. Cure." -- will drive even more support for the Four Diamonds Fund, Dance Marathon and the fight against pediatric cancer.

"We had a small gathering last year to raise money for THON, and we wanted to do something bigger this year," said Erica Wernick, a Penn Stater who serves as co-chair of the event with Gary Werkheiser, a 1981 Penn State graduate with a degree in accounting. "We came up with the idea to do a Mini-THON, Hollywood style because we wanted a fun, exciting event."

Participants will be dancing for six hours at the Avalon Hollywood, which was the site of the Beatles' first performance on the West Coast in 1964. During the club's rich history it has served as the site of Merv Giffin's talk show and performances by The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tina Turner, Nine Inch Nails and many other legendary groups and musicians during the past four decades.

Information about the event supported by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association may be found at online. Organizers -- a group that includes many who danced or helped with THON as undergraduates -- hope to attract as many as 100 dancers and 500 guests for the event.

"We are really excited to bring THON to Los Angeles. Even though we are far away from State College, there are still so many people here who care about helping the children of the Four Diamonds Fund," Wernick said. "It's also a wonderful experience to have Penn Staters of all different majors, using their expertise to make this event happen."

THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. Since 1977, THON has raised more than $78 million for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

THON 2012 will take place Feb. 17-19 in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus. For more information, visit online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 27, 2012