WYOMISSING, Pa. — Penn State Berks is showing support for the six student dancers who are representing the college at THON, the dance marathon to benefit families battling pediatric cancer, with “Dancer Week” from Feb. 13 to 17. The week will culminate with a dancer send-off on Thursday, Feb. 16, when faculty, staff and fellow students will gather to wish the dancers well.
From Friday, Feb. 17, to Sunday, Feb. 19, Penn State students from every campus will gather at the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State's University Park campus for THON, the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to benefit Four Diamonds, which supports families battling pediatric cancer.
This year’s dancers from Berks include six students: senior accounting major Hunter Leisey; four sophomores including Savannah Bogari, business, Jenna Krick, psychology, Sunrose “Sunni” Rousnee, psychology and political science major, and Aidan Seyler, forensic science; and first-year computer engineering major Sara Imad Abdel-Karim.
For Leisy, THON is very personal as was a Four Diamonds child. This is his second time dancing at THON. He works to give back to the organization that supported his family and welcomes the opportunity to battle pediatric cancer.
Bogari, special events executive for Berks Benefiting THON, said she wanted to be involved in the fight against cancer, having lost loved ones to the disease. She was active in mini-THON at her high school and knew she wanted to be a part of Berks Benefiting THON as soon as she arrived on campus.
Krick, merchandising executive for Berks Benefiting THON, shared that she was so moved by attending THON last year that she wanted to be a dancer representing the college this year and to offer support to the families and children affected by pediatric cancer.
Rousnee, family relations executive for Berks Benefiting THON, commented that THON has taught her the true meaning of being a part of the Penn State community and she feels it is now a part of who she is as a person. She said that she is grateful to have the opportunity to work with the families and represent them during THON weekend.
The following is a list of activities that will be held during Dancer Week — many are in honor of THON families that Berks Benefiting THON supports.
Sports Themed Day in support of Natalie Biancone family
Monday, Feb. 13
Natalie Biancone is an avid sports fan, playing goalie for her field hockey team at Conrad Weiser. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are encouraged to wear sports-themed attire on campus in her honor.
Superhero Themed Day to support the Riley Rejniak family
Tuesday, Feb. 14
To support Riley Rejniak’s love of superheroes, students will dress come to campus dressed as their favorite character.
Dancer Dessert Day
Wednesday, Feb. 15 Tully’s Dining Center, Perkins Student Center
Tully’s will feature the favorite desserts of Berks THON dancers along with photos of the dancers in support of the Laney Brown family and Celia Cosentino family.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 12:15–1:15 p.m., Lion’s Den, Perkins Student Center
The Penn State Berks community will come together to support Berks Benefiting THON dancers – and the student organization members who travel with them – during this pep rally. This event is free and open to the public.
Berks Benefiting THON Merchandise Day
Friday, Feb. 17
The campus community is encouraged to wear THON merchandise to raise awareness and support the dancers.
In 2022, THON raised $13,756,374.50. Penn State Berks raised $36,980.21, earning fifth place among the Commonwealth Campuses for THON fundraising. Click here for more information or to donate.
In 1977, the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, known as THON, established its relationship with the Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Four Diamonds directly assists the families at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, while funding research in pursuit of a cure. To date, THON has contributed more than $190 million to support children and their families fighting pediatric cancer. Every year, more than 16,000 student volunteers devote their time and effort to raise money through fundraising events. The hard work of every volunteer culminates every February during THON weekend for a 46-hour dance marathon celebration in the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park. Berks Benefiting THON, a Penn State Berks student organization, works collaboratively with THON at Penn State University Park to raise funds and spread awareness of pediatric cancer. The student organization holds fundraisers throughout the year, including a 5K run/walk, various student events on campus, and an Inspire the Night Dinner, just to name a few.