Congratulations from all those on the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group Board of Directors to all those directly involved in making THON 2016 a success!
While tons of Penn Staters will be braving the cold as they come and go throughout the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend, one group of Nittany Lions will be celebrating in warmer weather.
The Florida Suncoast & Tampa Chapters of the Penn State Alumni Association are hosting their first-ever THON weekend event, Penn State Tropical Dinner Dance, benefiting THON.
Michele Reagan, who’s in charge of this weekend’s event, notes that many of these chapters’ members weren’t involved with THON as students. She says, “We would all go and watch the dancers during our individual time at Penn State and root them on when we were in school many years ago.”
Now as the years go by past graduation, their roles have changed. “As Alumni now, we feel like it’s a great way to get involved to support such a great cause.”
The Penn State Tropical Dinner Dance takes place on Saturday, February 20th from 7pm to 11pm at The Eagles Golf Club (16101 Nine Eagles Drive, Odessa, FL). With a $45 per person ticket, attendees will get to check out a buffet dinner with a DJ, dancing, raffle and silent auction including signed memorabilia from Sue Paterno, James Franklin and John Urschel, and even the live feed from THON.
Staying involved with THON after her time at Penn State has meant a lot to Reagan. She says, “THON has become such an tremendous event that it’s not only a campus event for students but Penn State has made it a something that students, alumni and everyone in the State College community can participate in. Penn State owns THON, and we have been able to as a group passionately help fight against pediatric cancer.”
Reagan is excited to join her fellow alumni for this first-time, big event. “We are looking forward to the camaraderie of all the Penn Staters for a single evening coming together to support such a worthy cause.”
Reagan also wanted to thank a few contributors for their support of the Penn State Tropical Dinner Dance: “Thank you to the Eagles Golf Club for hosting the event for us. The three owners of the club are John Russell, Jim King and Bill Fustos and they are all Penn Staters. They have been generous with providing the venue and helping to bring in attendees and donations for the event. We appreciate their contributions!”
For more information about this event, you can visit their website and Facebook page – or send an email to Michele at email@example.com.
When Caitlin Bencel (’07) graduated from Penn State and moved to Chicago, she felt a little lost.
“At the time, it seemed like there weren’t many Penn Staters moving out this way. THON was such an important part of my college career, and very few people in Chicago had ever heard of it; I felt a strong need to reconnect to THON.”
Soon enough, she discovered THON in the Second City.
Bencel, who danced in 2007 (the first year held in the BJC) and was involved through Alpha Delti Pi in addition to heading up committees for Family Relations and Communications, is now the chairperson for THON in the Second City after joining the Penn State Chicago Board of Directors as the Service Chair in 2014.
THON in the Second City takes place this Saturday, February 20th, from 7pm to 11pm at Blackfinn Ameripub (65 W. Kinzie, Chicago). Tickets include passed appetizers, full dinner buffet, and an open bar with domestic beer and house wine. Dress for the event is cocktail attire.
Bencel says that attendees have plenty of great things to do throughout the evening. She says, “Our guests can expect to join other Penn State alumni from all over the Chicagoland area for a memorable evening dedicated to conquering childhood cancer.” Silent auction and raffle prizes include autographed items from the Chicago Blackhawks as well as tickets to see Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field. Further, they’ll be streaming THON’s live broadcast from the BJC, a mere 570 miles away.
Bencel is certainly proud of what the event has become over the years. She says, “I’m really looking forward to continuing the the great momentum we’ve had with building the level of our event. It started on the back patio of a bar, and now we are hosting the event at a location in the heart of Chicago’s nightlife. It’s exciting to see the Chicagoland alumni come together for an amazing cause.”
For more information about THON in the Second City, visit their website, Facebook, and Twitter – or send Caitlin an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Saturday, February 6, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Winking Lizard in Lakewood, OH, Penn Staters in the Greater Cleveland area will hold the 4th Annual Night Out to Fight Childhood Cancer Benefitting THON.
Kelly Hainer (’98), who was a Communications committee member and captain throughout her time at Penn State, has the help of two chairs for this yearly event.
“I really think this could be the best year yet,” says Hainer, who noted that early ticket sales have been stronger than ever before. She added, “I can’t wait to get into a room surrounded by people who love Penn State and THON.”
Tickets are $30 at the door this weekend which includes food in addition to a cash bar. Raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets will also be available and, this year, children can attend the event for $15 (they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).
Hainer, who supports the event in many ways like booking the venue, planning publicity, and getting donations, said that she continued her THON involvement after graduation for two reasons.
“I stayed involved immediately after THON because it truly was a life-changing experience,” she said, “I was moved by the spirirt of the little children we were helping. They had gone through more in their short lives than anyone should have to endure, and I wanted to make a difference.”
Since her graduation from Penn State, the meaning behind the event has changed for Hainer.
“Now that I’m a mother,” she said, “the fight has taken on a totally different meaning…I want to know that I have done everything possible to further the fight against this horrible disease.”
For more information about the 4th Annual Night Out to Fight Childhood Cancer, visit their website or send an email to Kelly at email@example.com.
For the 11th straight year, Penn Staters in the Philadelphia area will join together for the Liberty Ball, a night out to benefit the Four Diamonds.
Although the “blue-tie optional” event is already sold out, there is plenty to look forward to for those who have the chance to be in attendance.
Jamie Nelson (’02) and Melissa Quintana (’06) are co-chairs of the annual event which has raised over $125,000 to date for THON.
“It’s always a rewarding experience to harness the power of the Nittany Network for good,” says Nelson, who danced in THON for the Blue & White Society in 2002.
In addition to a silent auction, raffles, dinner, and dancing, the event has added a new award to honor a very special person. The Kayla Nakonechni Knight Award will be introduced this weekend to honor the late Penn State alumna, THON dancer, and Four Diamonds child. The award will be given out every year at the event going forward.
Also joining in this year’s Liberty Ball will be the Dami Schertzer family, who will speak about how support from THON and activities like Liberty Ball have positively impacted their family.
The event takes place at Ballroom at the Ben (834 Chestnut St #203, Philadelphia, PA 19107) – the same ballroom used in the popular film Silver Linings Playbook.
Nelson added, “Unveiling the total raised at the end of the evening is not only a culmination of our committee’s efforts, but reminiscent of our THON experiences as students at Penn State.”
Check out Liberty Ball’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read an interview with Maddy Pryor, DMAIG Public Relations Director, from Penn State News