The Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON organization works each year to raise funding and awareness for Penn State’s THON. THON is a student-run philanthropy that aims to provide emotional and financial support to children and families impacted by childhood cancer, as well as spread awareness and benefit funding for critical research.
Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON hosts a number of fundraising events to achieve their goal of raising money. Most recently on Nov. 5, the organization held the campus' Benefiting THON 5K at the Hanover Township Community Center, where students and friends ran to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
For years, Penn State students have raised money for THON through ‘canning,' which is a fundraiser through which Penn State students would collect donations towards THON in metal cans throughout the state. However, Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON participated in the last ever ‘canning’ event this past September.
The popular Penn State ‘canning’ tradition is being replaced by ‘canvasing,' where students will travel door-to-door in local townships (based on their campus location) to collect monetary donations for THON from the community.
Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON also continued their involvement in St. Luke’s Reading Rocks Program. To help benefit the cause, Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON hosts a book drive to collect books for children involved in St. Luke’s Reading Rocks Program. For every book raised, Howard Kulp, the immediate-past chair of the campus' Advisory Board, then donates one dollar towards THON. The overall goal for this event is to collect enough books to secure a $2,500 donation to combat childhood cancer.
On Nov. 8, Penn State Lehigh Valley students were invited to attend the first annual quiz bowl, an interactive event that featured the history, mission and purpose of THON. Participants were gathered into eight teams, which collaborated among themselves to choose a possible answer. Groups who answered correctly were given points that were tallied up after five rounds and questions in relation to THON, among other topics. This event was part of Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON’s 100 Days until THON celebration.
Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON also hosted a THON dodgeball tournament involving the campus community earlier this year, and they placed donation boxes in local stores to collect monetary donations.
“There are many more events planned for the spring 2018 semester,” said Devrajsinh Jadeja, sophomore majoring in information sciences and technology who serves as Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON’s chairperson. “Some of the organization’s biggest events that will be happening next semester include the annual Mr. and Miss Lehigh Valley event, and the annual silent auction in which Penn State Lehigh Valley Benefiting THON aims to raise $3,000.”
The organization’s year-long fundraising efforts conclude with THON Weekend from Feb. 16-18, a 46-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon held at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center, where the entire Penn State community joins together to help beat pediatric cancer.
For more information on THON and Penn State's mission to conquer pediatric cancer, visit the THON website.