Penn State Altoona surpasses $100,000 THON goal


Penn State students have more than 12 million reasons to celebrate this week as their fundraising efforts to fight pediatric cancer have paid off in a big way. A record total of $12,374,034.46 was revealed during the Feb. 17 culmination of THON, the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon.

Penn State Altoona was responsible for more than $100,000 of that, breaking its own goal, being the first commonwealth campus ever to raise that sum, and raising the most of all the commonwealth campuses. About 70 students on various committees have spent the last year working hard for every penny by securing individual donations, holding fundraising events and canning. "We worked so hard for this," said Liz Ducker, an executive chair of Altoona's THON committee. "We were all blown away, there really are no words. I'm still shaking from the emotion. And the growing support we are getting from Penn State Altoona's faculty, staff and community is such a great feeling."

Six students represented Penn State Altoona as dancers during THON. Said Sara Neadle the day after, "After sleeping for about 17 hours, I'm still exhausted, and I still think that this weekend was a dream. My legs and feet are in a lot of pain, and my voice is gone, but it was all 100 percent worth it. Dancing in THON 2013 was the greatest experience of my entire life, and I will cherish all of the memories I made this weekend." Added Kim Sterner, "There were so many incredible memories this weekend, and I am lucky to have been able to share them with the other five dancers of Altoona. I am so thankful for the huge support system this weekend and everyone who stuck by my side."

Students are already talking about next year, inspired and excited to see if they can break this year's record.

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, donating all proceeds to The Four Diamonds Fund, which in turn benefits the Hershey Medical Center and its young patients battling pediatric cancer.

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Last Updated March 26, 2013