Four Student-Athletes Dance in THON this Weekend
Feb. 15, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 41st annual Penn State Dance Marathon will commence Friday in the Bryce Jordan Center with many Nittany Lion student-athletes among the dancers and committee members helping to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. Known affectionately to Penn Staters as "THON," Dance Marathon is the culminating event to a year's worth of fundraising by Penn State students for pediatric cancer research and treatment at the Milton S. Hershey Center. THON has raised more than $89 million for the Four Diamonds Fund, raising $10.68 million and gathering record-breaking crowds in 2012.
Members of Penn State's Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) are actively involved in THON, and have run several fund-raising activities once again this year including sending solicitation letters to friends and family, canning at various athletic events, and holding an online auction. SAAB also held the Mr. & Mrs. Student-Athlete Pageant, as well as a volleyball tournament and barbeque in the fall to benefit THON. In addition to generating financial support for THON, SAAB also provides emotional support to its THON child, Isabella Messina, and her family throughout the year.
Those wishing to assist in SAAB's fund-raising efforts and help a good cause by donating directly to THON can do so by visiting www.thon.org and selecting SAAB as the organization whose name you'd like to donate under.
Two student-athletes will represent SAAB as dancers including Kristen Carpenter (Women's Volleyball - Mechanicsville, Va.) and Annie Abdo (Field Hockey - Langhorne, Pa.). Additionally, two student athletes, Marika Racibarskas (Women's Volleyball - Chatham, N.J.) and Katlyn Elliott (Women's Golf - Peterborough, Ont.) will represent Penn State hockey this weekend. Nicole Symeonides and Perri Hammershlag will represent the Lionettes, while Paige McManus and Nicole Camporeale will dance for the Penn State Cheer Squad. Dancers are not allowed to sit nor sleep during the 46-hour event that will be taking place in the Bryce Jordan Center. This year's THON will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 and end at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17.
In addition to the dancers and captains, numerous other student-athletes both attend THON and participate in Student-Athlete Hour and a THON favorite, the Pep Rally. Members of the football team will also give tours of the Lasch Building in conjunction with THON and the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Saturday.
SAAB's THON efforts this year were led by Jamie Lavin (Women's Golf, Communications Captain - Lansdale, Pa.), Nicole Williams (Lionnettes, Entertainment Chair), Tom Mershon (Men's Swimming, Fundraising Chair - Malvern, Pa.), Zach Slater (Men's Diving, Fundraising Chair - Westport, Conn.) and Vernon O'Gara (Fencing, Family Relations Chair - Huntington, N.Y.).
Check back to www.GoPSUsports.com for additional coverage of SAAB's participation in THON throughout the weekend.
For more information about Dance Marathon, please go to www.THON.org.