Penn State-Mont Alto students take part in THON

March 07, 2011
  • Mont Alto students Kaitlyn Shifflet, left, and Jennifer Szalay danced or remained on their feet for 46 hours straight to raise money for THON.
Submitted photo

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Penn State Mont Alto sent two students and more than 20 supporters recently to the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately referred to as THON, at University Park.  

The Mont Alto group raised pledges totaling $25,580.06, a record by more than $10,000 over last year. The Chambersburg, Pa., community at large contributed the most ($19,054) via collection cans at area businesses and through students callection on foot in the community.

The Potomac Valley Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association sponsored the team and contributed $350.

The students — Kaitlyn Shifflet and Jennifer Szalay — began dancing at 6 p.m. Friday and remained on their feet for 46 hours. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world and has raised more than $69 million for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Children’s Hospital to fight against childhood cancer. Penn State students raised a total of $9,563,016.09 at THON this year alone.

Mont Alto students collected community donations on weekends between October and January in Chambersburg.

“We are thankful for the outpouring of support from individuals in our community,” said Michele Coletta, Mont Alto’s campus nurse and THON adviser. “Our team worked hard and ended up with the sixth- highest total raised among Penn State’s commonwealth campuses.”

In 1972, a small group of Penn State students held their first dance marathon. That year, 34 dancers participated and raised $2,000. Since then, THON’s presence in the Penn State community has grown exponentially. THON now has 15,000 student volunteers, 700 dancers, and has raised more than $69 million, benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Children’s Hospital.  

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