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Get To Know 35-Member Special Interest Org Hershey Kisses For The Kids

There are more than 350 student organizations that participate in Penn State’s Dance Marathon. 25 of those organizations are special interest orgs, or “organizations that exist solely for THON, hoping to maximize fundraising and relationships with the families helped by The Four Diamonds Fund.” Hershey Kisses For The Kids is one of these orgs.

Hershey Kisses For The Kids, or HKFTK, was founded in 2010 and is spending its sixth year in the Bryce Jordan Center for THON. Founded by a few Hershey High School graduates, HKFTK claims the title of “The Sweetest Org on Earth.”

The 35-member organization is one of the smallest special interest orgs; however, its small size doesn’t keep it from doing big things.

The organization participates in numerous THON efforts throughout the year and are best known for their small restaurant fundraisers like their grilled sticky fundraiser at the State College Diner. They have also hosted dress down days at their hometown schools and cleaned the Bryce Jordan Center after the Paul McCartney concert in order to raise money.

“We’re smaller, so we all have the opportunity to really get to know each other,” said HKFTK president Sarah Hines.

This year, HKFTK will stand for 46 hours in honor of its THON child, Ellen, who lost her battle with cancer last year.

“It’s hard not having Ellen in the stands. It’s really different,” Hines said. “We’re still really close with the family and it’s good to have them here.”

HKFTK continues to dance #4LN4EVR, and this year they adopted a new motto in memory of her. The org is wearing a green sticker depicting a bird that Ellen drew surrounded by the words “Fly Free.”

“Ellen said that a bird flying free from a cage is what it’s like to have cancer,” Hines said.

“We use a lot of her drawing as our mottos and inspiration when we THON,” HKFTK member Aubree Davis echoed.

HKFTK is decked in lime green, Ellen’s favorite color, and will continue to stand for her, for the kids, and for the cure for the remainder of this year’s 46 hours.

About the Author

Emma Curtis

Emma is a staff writer for Onward State. She is a sophomore in the College of Communications and a first generation Penn Stater. Emma comes from a diverse military family and has moved around a lot; however, she has recently found her favorite home in Happy Valley. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @cinemmatiic.

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