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D.C. Alumni Association To Host Virtual THON Event June 19

D.C. Diamonds, a volunteer THON organization made up of Penn State Alumni Association members in the Washington, D.C. area, will host its second annual fundraising event on Friday, June 19.

The event is an all-day affair. It’ll include an auction and raffle from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Folks from around the world can participate, and all proceeds will directly benefit THON’s upcoming fundraiser.

Additionally, there will be a live Zoom webinar from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m following the bidding. The winners of the auctions and raffles will be announced during the presentation.

The event was originally scheduled for March 21 at Nationals Park but will now take place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Penn State football quarterback Trace McSorley will deliver a special message in addition to live performances from some familiar faces, including The Corner Brothers and Lowjack. Mike Palm, a former Four Diamonds child and cancer survivor, will also speak during the event.

Heather Grace Thomas, the founder of D.C. Diamonds, graduated from Penn State in 2017 and was heavily involved in THON as a student. Getting involved with THON changed her life, which is why she founded D.C. Diamonds almost immediately after she arrived in Washington.

“I was a two-year committee member and a two-year captain,” Thomas said. “It was always something I knew was going to be some sort of life-long commitment.”

She met a lot of her friends and even her current roommate through THON, which just adds to how the organization, as she likes to say, “impacted my life in every which way.”

However, THON wasn’t just an activity for Thomas. Rather, there were many personal connections to her participation.

“Additionally, THON itself has had such a personal touch on my life, as my family has experienced a lot of challenges with cancer,” Thomas explained. “One of the reasons I got involved as a student was because my cousin Victoria was diagnosed with cancer back in 2014.”

Her passion within the organization is driven by hearing stories from other families and her own personal connections.

D.C. Diamonds has raised more than $15,000 since its start in 2018. If you’re interested in raising funds to benefit the organization and THON, you can either participate in the event on June 19 or donate on the D.C. Diamonds website.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, NY and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his rants on all of his teams follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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