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Berks students raises more than $48K for THON

Berks THON dancers
Berks THON dancers (left to right) Deven Barbine, Kristine Potts, Nicole Messner, and Ryan Cameron
Students at Penn State Berks raised $48,786 for THON through a variety of fundraising events and activities throughout the academic year, and culminating in the 46-hour dance marathon to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, held from Friday, Feb.18 to Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 at the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University Park.

The THON final total was $9,563,016.09, earning its name as “the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.” Penn State Berks ranked fourth among all Penn State campuses for fundraising, which began in the fall of 2010 and included canning weekends, a talent show, a flapjack breakfast, a breakfast with Santa, and a 5K walk/run.

In addition, Brian Tran, a former Penn State Berks student, ran in The Hope Express, a 24-hour, 135-mile run created to bridge the gap between families at  the Hershey Medical Center who can not attend THON and the THON dancers. The run began on Thurs., Feb. 17, 2011, at 6 p.m. at the Hershey Medical Center and ended at the Bryce Jordan Center to kick off THON weekend. Sixteen runners took turns completing the 135-mile course, each running three legs of three miles each while carrying a bag of letters from the families to the THON dancers. All the runners completed the final mile together.  
 
The Berks County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association (PSAA) also presented a check for $14,575 to the Berks THON organization. Most of the donation comes from Reading Royals Night, which was sponsored by the PSAA and the Reading Royals on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

Five dollars from every ticket sold through the event Web site was donated and the Royals’ players all wore special Penn State football themed jerseys that were autographed and auctioned off after the game, raising more than $11,000. In addition, the Chapter donated $3,000 raised through their annual golf outing in 2010.
 
Short for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, THON is a year-long effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. THON's fundraising helps offset the cost of a child's cancer treatment and helps establish research endowments aimed at increasing the cure rates of pediatric cancer treatments.
 
Putting on their dancing shoes from Penn State Berks were sophomores Deven Barbine, Elementary Education major from East Norriton, PA; Nicole Messner from Ephrata, PA; and Kristine Potts from Reisterstown, MD; and first-year student Ryan Cameron, from Gilbertsville, PA, who spent their weekend on the dance floor as other Penn State Berks students cheered them on.
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