PJ Tatano, a freshman studying Petroleum Engineering, doesn’t have a personal cancer story. His story started here, at Penn State.
“THON is what motivated me,” said Tatano. “I haven’t even been to THON and it has affected me.”
Tatano has started a campaign and fundraiser for The Intrafraternal/Panhellenic Dance Marathon entitled “No Hair, Don’t Care.” He is encouraging Penn Staters to shave their head to stand with victims of pediatric cancer.
Tatano is a part of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences THON efforts, as well as serving as a part of the Rules and Regulations committee.
On Monday, Feburary 11, students and members of the Penn State community are encouraged to come to Evolve Studio on West Beaver Avenue from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and shave their heads. For $10 you will receive the No Hair, Don’t Care headband and a free shave. Evolve will also be shaping the Four Diamonds for those who request it, and will also be doing buzzcuts. All proceeds will be split between EMS THON and R&R’s efforts.
To begin, Tatano met with THON Overall, Will Martin. He wanted to make sure that there wasn’t already a similar fundraiser going on, and to see just how big he could make this. As soon as Tatano received the “approval” e-mail on January 28, he immediately started e-mailing big names on campus to spread awareness. The first person to respond? Head Basketball Coach Patrick Chambers.
“He got back the same day, a few hours later. He said, ‘Let’s do this.'” Originally, Tatano just wanted Chambers to wear the “No Hair, Don’t Care” headband for a picture to start pushing out on social media. Instead, Chambers ended up shaving his whole head right in his office.
“I was just happy that he wanted to help out,” said Tatano. “Instead he said, ‘I think I should shave my head right now.’ It was perfect.”
The campaign will continue on Monday when Chambers visits the B94.5 studios and shaves “Morning Zoo Crew” host PJ Mullen’s head on their show that morning.
For Chambers, it wasn’t really about shaving his head. The idea of THON, which he describes simply as “incredible,” hits close to the father of 3 young children.
“My three kids are healthy and I’m very lucky, and very fortunate. I couldn’t turn it down because I am blessed,” said Coach Chambers on Thursday night at his weekly radio show at Damon’s in State College.
Eventually, Tatano wants this to become a yearly fundraiser. He said, “It’s much more about supporting the kids than raising money to me. As important as it is to help raise the THON total, I think this has the opportunity to provide great emotional support for victims of pediatric cancer.”
Those interested in getting their head shaved should send their phone number and e-mail address to NoHairDontCare@psu.edu.
As for Coach Chambers, he said, “Let’s get these baldies going.”