Penn State Berks raises $62K for THON

'Our fiver dancers did a wonderful job'

SPRING TWP., Pa. - Penn State's Berks community contributed to the university's student-run THON fundraiser in a big way.

The Berks campus announced Thursday that it ranked third among all PSU campuses, contributing $62,531.35 to the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon in State College last weekend.

The grand total raised -- $10,045,478.44 -- will benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports families battling pediatric cancer.

"THON is an experience that's indescribable," said Amanda Alpuche, a Penn State junior and one of five student dancers who represented the Berks campus this year. "To be able to come together with the families that we are helping, to laugh, cry and dance while supporting one another, was a feeling I will never forget. These are the moments that will stick with me forever."

Among the supporters in attendance were Berks-benefiting THON children Natalie Biancone and Jason Swope, along with their families, Biancone, 10, has been cancer-free for seven years; Swope, 15, has been cancer-free for more than a decade.

The third Berks-benefiting child, Delaney Brown, lost her battle with cancer in 2013, but her family cheered on the THON dancers through text messages during the marathon.

The other student dancers from the Berks campus were senior Anna Lau and juniors Michael Aboulhouda, Marissa Catteau, and Kailen Moyer.

From the time they were chosen to participate in December, they followed a strict no-sugar, no caffeine diet and worked out in a gym to establish stamina for the 46-hour event.

"Our five dancers did a wonderful job representing Penn State Berks," said Aubrey Edwards, a Berks THON adviser. "We are so proud of them and thankful for all of the students, families, and friends who supported them throughout the weekend."

THON has raised more than $146 million since its start in 1973.

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