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THON Shatters Record 

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Last year, Brandywine THON had a very successful fundraising season raising $12,296.12 for the Four Diamonds Fund to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. However, this year after only two canning weekends and a couple events, Brandywine THON has not only met its total from last year, but also surpassed it.

Just to put this record setting year into perspective– after all three canning weekends last year, Brandywine THON had made nearly $9,000. This year, after the first canning weekend, Brandywine THON raised $8,500. The group added another $5,000 during the second weekend. Already Brandy­wine THON has raised more money than last year, with one more canning weekend to go and other events still planned.

The two Brandywine THON overall chairs are, to the least to say, thrilled about how this year is turning out so far.

“I was ecstatic,” Brandywine overall chair and Penn State ju­nior Jessica Maginnis said. “I can’t believe we are already past our total from last year and it’s only October!”

Brandywine THON’s other overall chair, senior Kayla Csizma­zia, was also very pleased with the group’s recent success.

“I was amazed because we never raised that much money be­fore in one canning weekend,” Csizmazia said.

They both attributed the early success to two main aspects: the more organized and dedicated chair committee and the amount of people who have joined this year.

“I was so excited going into this year,” Csizmazia said. “I knew that the group who was picked to lead THON was more dedicated than any other group in the past.”

The committee includes: Kevin Cardella, the canning chair; Liz Gramlich, the family relations chair; Renee Tallman, the event chair; Dan Monteverde, the finance chair; Lauren Lo­mas, the Donors and Alumni relations chair and Paul Alberici, the Public Relations chair.

Freshman like Ryan Stone has stepped up big time and will ac­tually be taking over in the spring when Csizmazia leaves and Mark Gurenlian, who has shown a lot of dedication and hopes to help with Donors and Alumni next year.

One of the most exciting and surprising aspects of this year was Brandywine THON being granted a THON family. A THON family is a family whose child has been diagnosed with some form of cancer and is partnered with the Four Diamonds Fund, which is what THON raises all its money for.

The reason this is such a big deal for Brandywine is because the group has not had a family for years. However, because of the group’s tireless work, Brandywine THON was deemed successful and passionate enough to handle being there for a family in need during this stressful time. This effort to regain a family can be attributed to one member in particular, Liz Gramlich.

After meeting the Chapman family, another Four Diamonds family who is partnered with Abington’s THON organization, Liz had an extreme desire to get Brandywine THON a family of its very own. Between multiple trips back and forth to University Park for meetings and writing a 15 page paper telling why Brandywine can handle a family because of the suc­cess in the past couple years, Gramlich was determined to get Brandywine a THON family.

And when the good news came in, she was ecstatic.

“I found out in front of the Brandywine THON organization and just started jumping up and down and was almost in tears, while screaming that we had got a family,” Gramlich said. “I was supposed to surprise our THON organization later on, but I could not contain myself. It was just so emotional and exciting. In my opinion, there is no bigger honor and privilege in THON then receiving a THON family!”

It is this kind of dedication and passion that has contributed to Brandywine THON’s success. On October 26, about 15 members went to University Park to run in THON’s annual 5K walk/run. To stand out in the crowd, Brandywine students dressed up as the “101 Dal­matians.” With all this success and the dedicated members they have assembled, Brandywine THON shows no signs of stopping.

“I hope to build a larger organization, build better relationships with the campus com­munity, and raise a great amount of money,” Maginnis said.

When THON members are asked why they do what they do, the response is always the same: FTK, THON’s motto meaning–For the Kids.

Paul Alberici

Lion’s Eye Writer, paa5102@psu.edu

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