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Pittsburgh Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster Is Officially #FTK

USC Trojan-turned-Pittsburgh Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster is using his celebrity for good this week by helping one independent dancer couple in their final fundraising push before the dancer lottery and selection.

After giving Smith-Schuster a tour of Kennywood Park as an intern over the summer (and introducing him to the legendary Potato Patch fries), Lara Pasko decided to reach out to him to see if he’d be willing to share her and her dancer partner Marissa Marino’s DonorDrive link with fans. A little while later, the link was live on his Instagram story!

Both Pasko and Marino grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh and have been Steelers fans for as long as they can remember. Getting involved in THON when they got to Penn State was a no-brainer.

“While we both have been involved with THON in different ways, we both have shared such a passion for this cause over the past four years,” Pasko said. “Even though we both had opportunities to try and dance through our respective organizations, we thought it would be incredible for two best friends of 10 years to take the floor together. So for the past six months, we have been working very hard to try to make that dream become a reality.”

Marino has served on THON’s Hospitality and Dancer Relations committees and has raised funds for THON through Lion Scouts and worked with the organization’s THON families since her freshmen year. Pasko has participated in THON through Alpha Chi Omega since her sophomore year and served as the chapter’s primary THON chair last year, allowing her to make connections with the sorority’s THON families.

“We set a fundraising goal at the beginning of the fall semester and we have far exceeded that goal,” Pasko said. “Now we are just seeing how far we are capable of going in our efforts to spread THON’s mission and raise money for this amazing cause.”

Neither Lara nor Marissa was able to attend last season’s Rose Bowl, so luckily they’ve only had positive experiences with Smith-Schuster…and didn’t have to watch him stunt on Penn State’s defense in the Granddaddy of Them All.

If one thing’s for certain, JuJu is officially #FTK. We dance in 24!

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.



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