On October 21, the Penn State Alumni Association honored twenty alumni groups and four individuals for their inspiring work. The PSAA Volunteer Awards Dinner is an opportunity to recognize exemplary service by affiliate groups and alumni who have contributed time, leadership, and talent on behalf of the Alumni Association and Penn State. And guess what, Dance Marathon AIG was among the 2016 awardees!
Mel Harris and Ashley Waters gladly accepted the Ned Brokloff Award for Alumni Association Affiliate Group Innovation on behalf of the AIG for our largest project, the DMAIG Mosaic.
THON supporters have been uploading photos for the mosaic-turned-mural, sharing their THON and Penn State memories and creating an online interactive mosaic. The digital mosaic is currently being turned into a permanent fixture to display at the new THON Store in the HUB. The DMAIG Mosaic has raised over $44,000 for THON and includes more than 1,500 photos and stories to showcase the history of THON.
We thank THON, PSAA, and The Four Diamonds Fund for their continued support for this project, and we thank and Mr. Ned Brokloff for sponsoring the award.
What’s next for the DMAIG Mosaic? Stay tuned on our social channels for the latest details about our upcoming reveal at the THON Store!
Can’t make it to the annual THON 5K in State College this year? Well, you’re in luck.
This year, you’re invited to participate in the second annual Virtual THON 5K! Over the weekend of October 14-16, runners and walkers alike are encouraged to take the same steps in their hometown. Registration is $30 with the inclusion of a 2015 THON 5K shirt, or $20 without the shirt.
Participants can register here: www.thon.org/about/events/virtualthon5k – and you can credit any organization you’d like!
Register by Monday, October 10, and you’re guaranteed to receive a runner/walker number and packet by the weekend.
Don’t forget to post pictures and videos of your journey! Use the hashtag #RunWithUsFTK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to spread the word about your run/walk and show your followers how YOU are helping to end childhood cancer.
New to the Virtual THON 5K this year is the “Steps Taken Towards a Cure” Pledge. Nominate up to five people to take the steps with you, and collect a penny for each step you take during the 5K. (The average person takes around 6,000 steps over the course of a 5K, so the average donation amount will come to $60.) More info on this pledge can be found here (scroll to the bottom of the page), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, if you can make it to PSU for the annual 5K, you can register by clicking here.
Last week, Penn State alumnus Mark Stephens finished a 170-mile journey to raise funds and awareness for THON. Walking all the way from Bethesda, MD to State College, PA, this adventure was no small feat! We connected with Mark to ask him about his experience.
DMAIG: Tell us a bit about your Penn State background. When did you graduate, what did you study, etc. What is your previous history with THON and its cause?
MS: My father taught at Penn State for 30 years, so PSU is truly part of my life experience. My wife and I met at Penn State and are true blue members of Nittany Nation. I graduated in ’86 with a degree in Liberal Arts and stayed for a Master’s in Exercise Science (‘89g). In the mid ’80’s, THON was in the White Building—Patty and I would stop in to see our friends but I was never particularly involved with THON at that point in time. Over the years, as THON grew, so did our interest in supporting THON.
DMAIG: Your fundraiser is quite a unique one. What gave you the idea to walk 170 miles For The Kids?
MS: I retired from the Navy this August. I recognized that I would likely need time to transition to a post-military career. Blending a transitional time (literally and figuratively) with supporting THON seemed like a natural fit. The walk was the culmination—I thought it would be a reasonable idea to try and contribute to PSU/THON while concurrently using the walk to reflect on things past and things to come.
DMAIG: What suggestions do you have for other Penn State alumni who want to get involved in THON, either for the first time or as a continuation from their time as a student?
MS: The student THON leaders have been fantastic. They are organized, enthusiastic and supportive. Any interested alumni would be well served to touch base with student leadership to brainstorm and bring ideas to fruition.
DMAIG: What’s next for you after this now that you’ve arrived in State College?
MS: I am thrilled to be taking a job with Penn State Health. The Penn State College of Medicine is involved in multiple innovations in medical education, one of them involving a unique and novel approach to medical school taking place here in State College. I can’t wait to join the team.
Thanks Mark for taking some time to tell us about your experience, and thanks for your commitment to THON and Penn State! Your story is inspiring, and it is THON alumni and supporters like yourself who spread THON’s story far outside central PA.
If you are interested in starting your own THON initiative, or want to know how you can get involved in your area, contact Corbin Reno, Alumni Events Director, at email@example.com.
If you love THON and Chipotle and you live in PA, get ready for a great day on September 25!
To wrap up the first Fundraising Outreach and Canning Weekend of the year, every single Chipotle restaurant in the state of Pennsylvania will be donating a portion of proceeds from every purchase when you mention “THON!”
We’re so excited that alumni and supporters across the entire state can help participate in this huge fundraiser. So, gather your friends, family, and fellow burrito-lovers for lunch or dinner (or both!) and #GoGoldFTK.
This weekend, Penn State Football takes on Temple in a gridiron battle, and Beaver Stadium will be participating in its second annual “Stripeout” – in addition, Penn State Football will be going FTK!
With the promo code “THON16” at THIS LINK, 50% of ticket proceeds will be donated to benefit THON! We’re looking forward to seeing you there for kickoff at noon.
If you can’t make the trip to good ol’ Happy Valley, you can still help support the cause from afar. Gather your fellow Penn State alumni (or PSU fans and supporters of THON) and host a fundraiser at a local sports bar/restaurant. While you cheer on the Nittany Lions, collect pledges for things like Penn State touchdowns, forced turnovers, and made field goals! View the pledge sheet for more information at the bottom of this post.
Have questions? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you organize.
After an incredibly successful first year, the Fairfax 5K is back for a second year!
On Saturday, September 24, join fellow Penn State alumni and THON supporters as they race around Fairfax, VA, For The Kids. Registration is $40. In addition to the 5K, there will also be a Kids Fun Run ($10 registration) — a great opportunity to introduce your little ones to the mission of THON. The event officially kicks off at 8:30 a.m. for the Kids Fun Run, with the 5K following at 9 a.m. For more information or to register for the event, visit Fairfax5K.com.
Not a runner but still want to be involved? The Fairfax 5K organizers are looking for race day volunteers! Fill out this form if you are interested in volunteering on the day of the event.
Additionally, in advance of the race, there will be a fundraiser at Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax on September 21. For more information, please visit the Facebook event page.
If you have any questions about the Fairfax 5K, contact email@example.com or (814) 808-KIDS (5437).
Lace up your sneakers and join Team DMAIG at the Conquer Run at Hershey Park on Saturday, September 24!
Each year, the 5K Run and Fun Walk raises funds for Four Diamonds and honors a Four Diamonds child – this year’s Honorary Hero is Lily Jordan! Runners can register for $40, with walkers at $30 – and youth runners/walkers can join in for $20.
Runners start at 7:30am and walkers commence at 8am. Register online by clicking here. To join our team, when prompted, click “join an existing team” and search for “DMAIG16.” Registration is open until September 17, or until the event sells out.
We’ll have both runners and walkers participating – we hope to see you there! For more info about the run or sponsorship opportunities, email Suzanne Graney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summertime is for baseball – and baseball FTK is even better.
Coming up on Saturday, August 20, the Binghamton Mets (Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets) will be hosting a fundraiser to support THON! $3 of every ticket purchased online with the “THON” promo code will be donated, FTK. Purchase your ticket(s) by clicking here. Fans can also simply mention “THON” at the box office to have their portion donated.
The BMets, as they’re affectionately known, play at NYSEG Stadium and will host the Portland Sea Dogs, an affiliate of the Boston Red Soz.
Scott French of the Greater Binghamton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association has been working hard all summer to make it happen, so big shoutout to Scott and the chapter for their hard work!
If you’re at the game, be sure to post your pictures with the #AlumniFTK hashtag – and tweet/tag DMAIG so we can share it, too!
For more information, you can call the Binghamton Mets box office at 607-723-6387, or send Scott an email at email@example.com.