DuBOIS, Pa. — An annual tradition at Penn State DuBois leading up to the conclusion of THON season, the THON sendoff dinner and hair auction was held on Feb. 7 to celebrate this year's dancers from the campus and to make a final push toward achieving the campus' donation goal. At the end of the evening, through the efforts of the hair donors, the campus and the community, $10,154 was raised for THON, which helped push DuBois over its overall goal, with donations now surpassing $26,500 for THON 2024.
To begin the evening, Jalen Kosko, current student at Penn State DuBois and a THON dancer in 2023, shared some insights into his experiences at THON and why he has and will continue to champion efforts for THON.
THON to me is a unique opportunity as a student to be part of something bigger than my own endeavors.
—Jalen Kosko , Penn State DuBois student and 2023 THON dancer
“THON to me is a unique opportunity as a student to be part of something bigger than my own endeavors,” Kosko said. “It is a way to support families and children going through the tragedy that is cancer. As someone who would like to be a parent one day, it’s very difficult for me to fathom how it would feel to go through such a thing. But that’s exactly why I THON. It brings me a lot of joy knowing I can help enhance these families’ lives in any way I can and I’m sure many can say the same.”
Hannah Allen, a member of the THON committee, came forward to present the THON award of appreciation. This year’s award was presented to Cori Pifer, owner of The Beauty Bar in DuBois, who have graciously donated their time and talents to the hair auction for many years, as well as being an enthusiastic supporter of THON.
Cori has been a partner of our organization since long before I started here three years ago. We are so thankful for all you’ve done and continue to do.
—Hannah Allen , Penn State DuBois student and member of the THON committee
“Cori has been a partner of our organization since long before I started here three years ago,” Allen said. “We are so thankful for all you’ve done and continue to do.”
One of the highlights of the event is the introduction and sending off of the THON dancers for the year. This year, Penn State DuBois will be represented at THON by Rachel Allegretto, Abigial Morgo, Maddee Finalle and Ella Wilson. Each of them were in attendance at the event to receive support from those in attendance as they prepare for the 46-hour Penn State Dance Marathon that will take place on Feb. 16-18 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
This year, seven participants stepped up to donate hair for the cause. Allegretto, one of the dancers for the campus for THON 2024; Haley Rummel, Penn State DuBois alumna, current campus employee and former THON chair; Grace Rummel, sister-in-law of Haley Rummel; Harper McNeel, local kindergartner who comes from a big family of THON supporters; Kosko, current Penn State DuBois student and a 2023 THON dancer; Wendy Swope, friend and neighbor of Rebecca Pennington, director of student affairs at Penn State DuBois; and Deanna Condron, Penn State DuBois and THON alumna, all set goals, helped collect donations and sacrificed their hair to support the campus’ efforts for THON 2024. By the end of the evening, through some wheeling and dealing, each hair donor met their goal and their hair hit the floor for the cause.
The event also featured ways for those in attendance to win prizes through trivia questions about THON, as well as prize baskets that donations could be made to receive chances at the prizes.
Donations can still be made in the days leading up to the dance marathon. If interested in making a donation, visit the donation page for THON for Penn State DuBois.
Penn State THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world in which thousands of volunteers are committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. THON is comprised of over 16,500 Penn State student volunteers who aim to provide emotional and financial support to Four Diamonds families, as well as to spread its mission and bring awareness to childhood cancer. Since its start in 1973, THON has raised over $200 million dollars to support Four Diamonds at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.