THON: For The Kids

By Jenna Swank

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – Penn State New Kensington’s THON organization held their Zazzy Zumba fundraiser on October 14 in the school gymnasium. Students and people from the community had the opportunity to help raise money for children with pediatric cancer by taking part in this night of Zumba dancing.

THON members raise money at PSNK’s Fall Festival Oct. 1. (Photo courtesy Bill Woodard)

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Their ultimate goal is to raise funds and awareness for children’s fight against pediatric cancer. All the money that is raised by the Penn State campuses benefits the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

The Zumba event and the THON organization at PSNK are run by Lauren Richards. Richards is a junior from Penn Hills who is majoring in Information Sciences and Technology. She has been actively involved in THON for two years and is currently the chairperson.

Richards’ main goal for THON this year is to beat last year’s total of over $52,000. Another goal she has is “to get more people involved throughout the year and keep them active.” Richards said that besides numbers being down in the organization, one of her biggest obstacles is that some students won’t be emotionally connected until they attend THON weekend so it’s harder to get them involved.

Richards holds THON close to her heart because she personally knows of a child who is suffering from pediatric cancer. She said, “I want everyone to get involved with THON who needs it because they don’t turn any family down.”

The next fundraiser that PSNK THON is holding is a Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday, November 6 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The second canning weekend for THON will take place December 1-3.

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