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.”
We are so proud of our DMAIG dancers! We can’t wait to see them out on the dance floor in just a few weeks!! Please send them some Dancer Mail and let them know you appreciate all of their efforts for the cause! Here’s the info!
Tiana Scott 333A
Maureen Ebner 333B
Janine Patton 332A
Brian Dunn 332B
DANCER MAIL CALL
THON Weekend is just weeks away! Don’t forget to make dancer mail for your friends dancing in THON 2016. Mail can be dropped off in 324 HUB and packages in 327 HUB. All mail is due in-person by February 11 so start now! If you are sending your mail, be sure to have it postmarked by February 9. Questions? Please contact the Dancer Relations Mail Call Captains at firstname.lastname@example.org. To send your mail, please use the following address:
ATTN: Mail Call
[Dancer’s Number, such as 21A] [Dancer’s Name] 227D Hetzel Union Building
University Park, PA 16802
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 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.”
This year, DMAIG will be holding our annual reception at 5:00 pm on Saturday, February 20th at Hintz Hall on Penn State’s University Park campus. A variety of food and beverages will be provided, including local beer and wine, and we will have several speakers, awards, and raffle drawings throughout the night. We encourage all THON Alumni to stop by and mingle! Please RSVP here: http://goo.gl/forms/381a7dRpE2
Questions can be directed to the THON Weekend Events Director, Shannon Holzer, at email@example.com
Each year, DMAIG has the wonderful opportunity to partner with THON in offering tours of the Bryce Jordan Center during THON Weekend.
Here are the scheduled dates and times for this year’s event:
Friday, 2/19, 8:30 PM
Friday, 2/19, 9:30 PM
Saturday, 2/20 11:30 AM
Saturday, 2/20 1:45 PM
Saturday, 2/20 2:30 PM
Those interested must send their full name, email address, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. These tours can have a maximum of 25 people, and they fill up VERY quickly – so sign up today before it’s too late!
Did you know that DMAIG gives out two awards every year to THON Alumni? At our THON Weekend reception on February 20th, we will be presenting awards to the Volunteer of the Year and Fundraiser of the Year. These awards were created to recognize the immense amount of time and effort alumni continue to dedicate to THON and the Four Diamonds Fund, and to highlight the winners’ accomplishments.
Most of us have stayed connected to the cause, either directly or indirectly and know people who have truly made it their mission to continue to fight pediatric cancer. We ask that you consider nominating a friend, colleague and/or organization that you know continues to support THON and the Four Diamonds Fund in their post-college lives. The process is very quick and in a few minutes – you can nominate someone by clicking here.
If you have any additional questions about the DMAIG awards, THON Weekend events or the DMAIG reception itself, please email THON Weekend Director Shannon Holzer at email@example.com.
As most of the northeast will be dealing with Winter Storm Jonas, the Atlanta Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association will be grooving the night away.
Taking place on Friday, February 19th at Park Tavern’s Piedmont Room, attendees will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, and an open bar. Dress ranges from business casual to black tie.
As Diamonds Chairperson for Penn State Atlanta, Lauren Coleman is looking forward to “a night well spent with family and friends all in support of THON!”
Coleman wasn’t involved in THON as a student, but decided after graduation that it’s never too late to get involved — and we at DMAIG couldn’t agree more.
Her favorite part about getting involved post-graduation from Penn State is “being able to see the THON impact grow, especially in Georgia.”
As Diamonds Chairperson, it’s Coleman’s job to organize and run the event. If you’re unable to join the fun on Friday, she says, donations are always welcomed!