WYOMISSING, Pa. — Penn State Berks students proved yet again that dedication reaps rewards. Berks Benefitting THON student organization raised $36,287.98 and earned the seventh spot among Penn State Commonwealth Campuses. The results were announced at the end of the 46-hour dance marathon to benefit Four Diamonds on Sunday, Feb. 19.
The overall total raised for THON 2023 was $15,006,132.46, which breaks THON’s yearly record for the second year in a row. From Friday, Feb. 17, to Sunday, Feb. 19, Penn State students from every campus gathered at the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University Park for THON — the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to benefit Four Diamonds — which supports families battling pediatric cancer.
The students hosted various fundraisers throughout the year, including the Berks Benefiting THON 5K-Run and Cuts for Kids sponsored by Studio West Hair Salon in Wyomissing. Berks Benefiting THON’s biggest fundraiser of the year is the “Inspire the Night” benefit dinner, which raised approximately $16,000 for the organization this year.
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.
When asked about his experience dancing in THON, Seyler said, “The feeling was truly indescribable. For me, it was all about mentally keeping myself in check when times seemed rough, or I was getting down. But remembering why I was there and the reasons I was dancing, pushed me through any mental block, and with the support and love from my friends and family, I knew I could get through anything.”
“It means so much to the Berks Benefitting THON organization to have the support of the chancellor, staff, faculty, and students throughout the year in their mission to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer,” states Alexa Wojciechowski, adviser to Berks Benefitting THON. “Through attendance at events and donations, the students realized their goal of raising funds to support the families and children fighting pediatric cancer.”
Wojciechowski, coordinator of placement and internships, is one of three Berks Benefitting THON advisers. She is joined by Aubrey Edwards, academic adviser, and Dr. Ryan Hassler, associate teaching professor of mathematics.
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.