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Paterno Tribute Video Raises Money For THON

With Joe Paterno’s passing has come a truly astounding amount of words, images, and videos honoring a man that certainly deserved such a goodbye. One Penn State alum, with a little help from his friends, has found a way to honor JoePa while helping THON at the same time.

Ralph Vuono, a 2001 graduate, made this tribute video on Saturday evening following reports of Joe’s serious health condition in hopes of honoring the legendary coach. After the video’s view count began to rise, Vuono found an opportunity to raise money for THON. The video’s description is as follows:

We are putting the tribute video to good use. A group of PSU Alumni, friends and family have agreed to make a donation to THON in honor of Joe Paterno for every 1000 views. Please re-post and share!

Vuono currently has 15 Penn State alums and fans committed to contribute to the campaign, and he is hoping to get that number up to around 25. He said he hopes the video will reach 20,000 views, which would result in “a few thousand dollars” going to THON. He preferred not to disclose the exact dollar amount pledged should the amount of donors increase.

Ralph’s connection to Joe Paterno goes beyond simply spending his college years in Happy Valley. His father was recruited by Joe Paterno in 1967, even receiving a famous Sue Paterno pasta dinner in the process. Vuono’s father opted to attend Brown University instead. When Paterno, a former quarterback at Brown, found out, he admitted that he couldn’t blame Vuono and spent a half hour speaking with him about Brown. In addition to his father’s connection, Ralph’s uncle, a longtime New Jersey high school football coach, also worked closely with Paterno during his summer football camps.

As for Ralph himself, he had the opportunity to interact with Coach Paterno a few different times at dinners held by the College Football Hall of Fame. “He was as engaging with me as he was with anyone,” Vuono said of the experience.

For Vuono, like many of us, Joe Paterno’s impact on his own life will last long after the coach’s passing on Sunday.

“I owe 90% of the friendships and relationships I have to Penn State. I met my wife at a tailgate. I owe so much of who I am to Penn State, and Penn State wouldn’t be the place it is without Joe.”

About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.


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