Michael Pilato’s Inspiration Mural is one of the coolest things in State College. With images of influential Penn Staters of the past, present, and future, Pilato has truly depicted what it means to be a Penn Stater. Pilato added some faces in advance of Arts Fest Weekend, with some staples of Penn State and some more recent personas.
Of all the new additions to Pilato’s mural, the most inspiring might be of THON children Emily Whitehead, the late Laney Brown, and Kayla Nakonechni. Nakonechni was diagnosed with grade-four astrocytoma six months after dancing in THON, and Pilato was so moved by her inspiring tale that he announced that he will be hosting a tour of his mural on Friday at 6 p.m. in order to raise funds for THON. He detailed his meeting of Kayla after being approached by her friends, and agreed to paint her on the mural right away.
“Ever since the tragedy happened three years ago, I’ve been amazed by what the students have done for the cause,” Pilato said. “Seeing them stand around the corner at the book store canning while I am at the mural is just awe inspiring.”
He is asking that every participant pay $5 towards the cause, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the organization. As an added incentive, Pilato is entering each participant into a raffle with the winner either being painted on the mural or given the opportunity to nominate someone to be painted on a small section in the mural along with two signed prints. Pilato is also looking into an online way to donate for those that cannot be in State College on Friday, but is unsure if he will be able to do so in time. Thanks to Pilato for undertaking this great cause!
(UPDATE 5:00 p.m.) Pilato will now be accepting donations through fundraise.com for those that cannot get to State College. Those donating $5 or more on the site will also be entered into the raffle.