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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dancers 'Sent off' for THON Dinner Event – Nearly $3K Raised 'For the Kids'

In the photo: Hair auction participants, left to right, Patience McCullough, Greg Myers, and Koren McCullough, helped to raise nearly $3,000 for THON at the Dancer Sendoff Event.

DuBOIS – Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community raised nearly $3,000 and recognized this year's Penn State DuBois THON dancers at the THON Dancer Sendoff Dinner on Thursday evening in the student union. The event included dinner, a hair auction, and a silent auction. All together, the event brought in $2,865 for the cause. This brings the Penn State DuBois THON Committee's total for the year to $14,347, which will contribute to the university-wide total for THON 2015.

This year's designated Penn State DuBois THON Dancers are students Darcie Grenier and Greg Myers. They'll represent Penn State DuBois at THON 2015, slated for February 20, through February 22, at the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park. The honor will place the pair in the middle of the action of THON, as they attempt to dance and stay on their feet for 46 consecutive hours to support the battle against childhood cancer.

The largest student-run philanthropy in the world, engaging more than 15,000 students across Pennsylvania, THON raised a record $13,343,517 last year. Since its inception in 1977, THON has raised $114 Million for the Four Diamonds Fund, the event's sole beneficiary, and a leader in the fight against pediatric cancer. The Four Diamonds Fund fills in the funding gaps that insurance leaves for the patients it serves, enabling families to focus on caring for their child. Because of large donors like THON, Penn State Hershey Hospital recruits world-class talent to continue innovative research, and to maintain and expand the state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital.

Past THON dancers Heidi Miller (2011) and Evan Aravich (2014) spoke at the dinner and offered encouragement to those who will tough out the 46 hour event this year.

"It's hard to believe the difference THON can make," said Miller. "It has such a positive impact on people's lives. And you have worked hard and earned every dollar you brought it."

Aravich commented on the young cancer patients who attend THON, and how much going to the event means to them. He said, "The impact you have on these kids and their families is immeasurable. It really does take cancer away from them for the weekend and let them just enjoy the fun."

In addition to serving as a dancer, Myers also shaved his head for the hair auction, with his locks fetching more than $400.

"This is really awesome," Myers said of the sendoff event. "Getting this support from the community and people around campus is really awesome. It's great to see how campus and community can come together for one great cause."

Both dancers departed for University Park from the sendoff dinner to prepare for THON. They traveled with high expectations for the weekend. Grenier said, "I'm excited, I'm nervous. Mostly I'm looking forward to seeing the kids' faces and how happy they are, being in the atmosphere."

Also volunteering to have their hair auctioned off for the cause were Patience and Koren McCullough, sisters who are both donating their hair to organizations that make wigs for cancer patients. Willing bidders vied for the chance to put each volunteer under the shears.

THON 2015 kicks off at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 20, at the Bryce Jordan Center. There is still time to donate. To find out how, visit

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