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Berks sends record number of dancers to THON

For the first time in the history of participating in THON, Penn State Berks has been invited to send six student “dancers” to represent the college.
By: Lisa Baldi

For the first time in the history of participating in THON, short for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, Penn State Berks has been invited to send six student “dancers” to represent the college in the 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports families battling pediatric cancer. THON will be held Friday, Feb. 19 to Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, at the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University Park campus.

The college will hold a celebratory dancer send-off event on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, from 11:00 a.m.–1 p.m. in Tully’s cafeteria, located in the Perkins Student Center. The Berks County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association (PSAA) will present a check to the Berks benefitting THON organization at this event.

In 2015, the grand total raised by THON was $13,026,653. Penn State Berks raised a record $74,568 in support of THON, ranking third among all Penn State campuses for fundraising events and activities throughout the year.

According to Alexa Wojciechowski, staff adviser to the Berks benefitting THON student organization, this is a milestone for the student group. The amount raised by the Berks benefitting THON organization was the impetus for increasing the number of Berks dancers invited to participate.

This year’s Berks student dancers include senior Katarina Zambanini; juniors Carly Barbour, Michael Serago Jr., and Harrison Welsh, and sophomores Kaylee Grindrod and Charles Miller IV.

When asked why she wanted to be a dance, Zambanini explained, “I am dancing in honor of a close friend who passed away two weeks before walking across the stage with her high school diploma. I have never met anyone as loving, selfless, courageous and strong as she was, and she inspires me every single day to give back to others and live life to the fullest. My hope is that through THON other children will not be robbed of a long and fulfilling life.”

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.

For more information or to make a donation to THON, contact the Campus Life Office at 610-396-6076 or visit Go to the drop-down window labeled "Please give the following organization credit for my gift" select "Berks" or Org #77.