Zumba-THON event to raise funds for THON effort

Penn State Worthington Scranton alumni and students are spearheading a new event to raise funds to aid the fight against pediatric cancer. The campus' first Zumba-THON will be held on Wednesday, December 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the campus' Multipurpose Building.

For a suggested minimum donation of $5 per person, individuals of all ages may participate in or stop by the event, which is being co-sponsored by the Penn State Worthington Scranton Alumni Society and the student Blue & White Society.

The Zumba-THON will feature four Zumba instructors (one every half-hour), and local "celebrity" guest dancers from the community and campus. There also will be door prizes and raffles throughout the evening.

The event will raise funds for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, commonly referred to as THON. A highlight of the event will be the announcement of the dancers who will represent the Penn State Worthington Scranton campus at the event in State College in February.

"As a recent graduate and a new member of the Penn State Worthington Scranton Alumni Society, I suggested during a meeting that the group consider supporting THON, a fundraiser that is very close to my heart," says campus alumna Andrea Summa, event coordinator. "Ten minutes later, we had brainstormed our way to this event and we have been planning ever since. I was so proud to be involved in THON as a student and I can't be more excited to be able to share my enthusiasm with the alumni and help in coordinating this event."

Volunteering for the event are instructors Sandy Depoti, Racqueteers Health & Fitness Club, St. John's Center and the Spectrum Health and Racquet Club; Taryn Turissini, North Pocono Fitness Quest and Academy of Asian Martial Arts; Karey Walker, Racqueteers Health and Fitness and Harford Dance Academy; and Michelle Kelsh, Penn State Worthington Scranton Athletics.

Some of the featured dancers include David Kuharchik, meteorologist, news personality and host of WBRE's PA Live afternoon talkshow; Josh McAuliffe, staff writer for The Scranton Times-Tribune; as well as several faculty, staff and student leaders.

Since its beginning in 1973, THON's presence in the Penn State community has grown exponentially. THON now has over 15,000 student volunteers, 700 dancers, and has raised more than $78 million, benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. THON is now a year-long effort that raises funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer.

Volunteer organizers and instructors involved in the Zumba-THON fundraiser at Penn State Worthington Scranton are shown in the photo, above right.  They are:  seated in front from left:  PSWS Alumni Society President Kathy Zielinski; and campus THON Committee Chair Peggy Opalka. Standing, from left:  instructors Sandi Depoti and Taryn Turissini; Blue & White Society President Chris Carozza; the Nittany Lion; instructors Michelle Kelsh and Karey Walker; and event coordinator, Andrea Summa.