NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Penn State’s THON weekend is less than a month away, but that’s not stopping Penn State New Kensington students from using that time to raise more funds for the effort through two upcoming events. A campus "Penny Wars" challenge is set to begin Jan. 22 and the annual New Kensington THON spaghetti dinner is set for Feb. 4.
Both events benefit THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. THON is a year-long effort dedicated to raising funds and awareness surrounding childhood cancer with the hope of finding a cure.
Penny Wars benefiting Penn State New Kensington THON will run between Jan. 22 to Feb. 9 on campus. Campus community members can locate their loose change and drop it in the challenge cans found in Café 780.
Nick Roth, a junior electro-mechanical engineering major who first participated in THON last year, is organizing the challenge.
“I participate in THON because of the passion I gained last year at THON,” said Roth. “I never felt like a true ‘Penn Stater’ until I went to THON. I left the Bryce Jordan Center inspired and ready to help in any way I could. THON has become a huge part of my life, and I plan on being heavily involved through the rest of my life.”
Annual spaghetti dinner
The spaghetti dinner planned from noon to 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 will be held at Puckety Church. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. The menu features spaghetti and meatballs with a drink, as well as salad and bread. Dessert will be available for purchase, and take-out will be offered. The church is located at 1009 Puckety Church Road in New Kensington.
Paulina Iniguez, junior corporate communications major, is co-chairing the dinner, and also this year’s campus THON committee. A member of THON since 2015, she believes in its mission.
“I believe the joy and innocence children bring to this world should not be cut short, and we need to do anything in our power to ensure that children get the chance to grow up and live a long, happy life,” said Iniguez. “THON has inspired me to push myself outside my comfort zone in order to become the best version of myself I can be.”
Penn State New Kensington’s THON committee holds events throughout the year to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund. The fund’s goal supports pediatric cancer patients, families and research. THON, formally known as the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, culminates this year with a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping marathon from Feb. 16 to 18, at the University Park campus. Since 1973, THON has raised more than $136 million.
For more information about THON, visit www.thon.org.