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Atlas Welcomes Third Family This THON

Atlas Benefitting THON is perhaps best known for being the first non-Greek organization to have the highest fundraising total over the course of a THON year. You’ll see them wearing their signature fuzzy pink hats on street corners during canning weekends, and in their place in the stands during THON itself. But just as the fuzzy pink hats have their own story, Atlas has a new story to tell this year as this past Thursday, the day before THON, Atlas just got its third THON family.

There’s a story behind Atlas’ first two families. For those who aren’t familiar with the origin of the fuzzy pink hats, here’s a little background: During Atlas’ first THON, their THON child—Victoria Smith—was unable to attend. However, knowing that her favorite color was pink and that she liked the feel of fuzzy fabric, Atlas created the fuzzy pink hat as a way for Victoria to recognize them on the THON online feed. Now, of course, the hats have become emblematic of the organization itself. Atlas’ second THON has an equally iconic story: during 2010, Claire Brobson became the first THON child to finish her treatment during and at THON weekend itself. Both children are in remission, a fact that Atlas draws inspiration from as a tangible result of the fundraising efforts it conducts for the Four Diamonds Fund.

This weekend, Atlas welcomed the Gerenas and their five year-old daughter, Amarie—an ALL patient in remission—her twin sister, Alexis, and their baby sister Alivia to their first THON with princess crowns, stickers, and gift bags.

Here’s to Atlas and the blessing of their new family—and here’s to the Gerenas, hoping that they enjoy their first Penn State Dance MaraTHON.

About the Author

Bobby Chen

Writer and photographer, helping tell the many stories of the Penn State community.

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