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October 19, 2013 - 4:03pm

Fundraising Penn State students appreciate the generosity of Batavians

posted by Bonnie Marrocco in batavia, Penn State, Thon.

Abby Arbutina, of State College, Pa., Angela Ru, of Pittsburgh, Pa., Ken Marrocco, of Batavia.

Ben Gorgonzola, of Honeybrook, Pa.

Conor Sweeney, of Stamford, Conn.

Danielle Schrey, of Bethel Park, Pa.

Students from Penn State are once again soliciting donations with canisters (canning) on busy street corners of Batavia as part of their charity drive on behalf of pediatric cancer.

The students are part of a group called THON (The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon), which is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. It is an ongoing effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer.

Two of the members, Ken Marrocco and James Leisenring, are from Batavia and their group raised more than $2,000 last fall during a canning weekend here.   

The students are impressed by the support they've received from the community. 

“Everyone has been so nice and generous,” Meghan Wade, of Berea, Ohio said. “A man stopped to tell me how he lost his wife to cancer and gave a $100 donation.”

Since 1977, THON has raised more than $101 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. This year alone, THON raised more than $12 million.  

Fundraising methods include canning weekends, THONvelopes, door-to-door canvassing and online donations. THON culminates its charity events when thousands of Penn State students, alumni and friends participate in the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon on campus in February.

“Hearing about everything these families who are battling cancer have to go through is difficult,” Leisenring said. “But seeing how much the money we raise helps them is incredible and that’s why we’re all involved.”

They will be collecting cash and change from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. tomorrow before heading back to State College, Pa.

For more information, visit

Disclaimer: Ken Marrocco is the son of The Batavian staff writer Bonnie Marrocco.

Cole Quattrone of Monongahela, Pa., Brandon Butwin of Hewlett, Ny., Addy Avdic of Carlisle, Pa., James Leisenring, of Batavia.

Meghan Wade, of Berea, Ohio.

Jessica Partridge, of Pittsburgh.

Jaanki Patel, of Mclean, Va.

Mark Brudz
Mark Brudz's picture
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: Feb 9 2012 - 9:33pm

Another fine example of real heroes at work, and another worthy cause to donate time and money too. To these students I say BRAVO

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