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Three Multimedia Stories from THON

Giving his blood for THON

Tim Trott, a Penn State graduate, came to State College this weekend to attend THON, an event that has grown tremendously since he graduated in 1977, when THON was only in its fourth year. Inspired by his daughter, Kristen, he decided to donate blood for the first time in order to raise money for THON.

— Ashley Trott

THON through the eyes of a Four Diamond child

Layn Burger, of Elizabethtown, was diagnosed with kidney cancer when he was only one year old. His family was unable to afford his medical bills. Fortunately, that’s where the Four Diamonds fund came in — paying for all of his expenses, as well as providing housing for his family in Hershey when he was hospitalized there. Layn has been in remission for the past four years. He returns to Penn State every year for THON, dancing alongside students for 46 hours, for the kids and for a cure.

— Becky Perlow

Fish heads!

Freshmen Cassandra Wiggins and Kim Zajac are members of Ohana, an independent fundraising organization for Penn State’s THON.

Ohana is a relatively new organization, established in 2008. In its first year Ohana was one of the top-three fundraisers among independent organizations.

Neither Wiggins nor Zajac will be dancing at THON but they are attending to show their support. Their friend and Ohana colleague Melissa Ricciutti, freshman-elementary education, has a floor pass for THON, but said she wasn’t sure how long she would stay. Her current goal is to attend for at least 24 hours.

— Hettinga, Kirstie

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About the Author


Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.

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Penn State and the Process of Life

To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of higher education’s death have been an exaggeration. American universities produce more research and relevant knowledge for the world at large than any other institutions I know of. Tuition may be too damn high, but over the long-run, undergraduate degrees are definitely worth the cost. But Penn State could be so much more. It used to be, I think.

Bonded in Blue, White, and Worry

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