New club will bring THON to DU

Photo by Andy Hornak | For The Duquesne Duke. An archive photo from 2014 shows Penn State University students gathering for its annual THON fundraiser, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Photo by Andy Hornak | For The Duquesne Duke. An archive photo from 2014 shows Penn State University students gathering for its annual THON fundraiser, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.

By Carolyn Conte | The Duquesne Duke

Duquesne’s branch of Four Diamonds is welcoming new members Feb. 5 in Pappert Lecture Hall in Bayer.

Four Diamonds is an organization that aims to raise donations for those affected by pediatric cancer at Penn State Hershey Hospital. Duquesne’s mini-THON, which will be held next spring, is a dance marathon modelled after Penn State’s THON, which has raised $114 million for Four Diamonds since 1977.

President Jamie Crain was able to bring Four Diamonds to Duquesne after reaching out to the Student Government Association. She had been involved in Four Diamonds since high school, and now with Advisor Bill Klewien of the liberal arts school, the program has sprouted on campus too.

“[Joining Four Diamonds was] not personal for me, but there was a girl in my high school whose family was helped by the Four Diamonds after she died due to cancer,” Crain said.

Klewien was more concerned with helping students in a noble cause than drawn to it for personal reasons.

“If I can help students in any way to reach goals, I don’t say no to students who ask ‘Will you help me?’”

Pennsylvania State University students lead THON in fundraising and raising awareness annually. Four Diamonds receives 100 percent of THON’s collections, and earns the majority of its support, in general, through THON. THON 2015 will take place Feb. 20-22 at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center. The 46-hour finale event will allow no sitting or sleeping for participants.

Duquesne’s mini-THON won’t be until next year, but other events including trivia night at the Red Ring and canning at football games will be held.

According to Four Diamonds’ website, the number one killer of American children is cancer, with a child diagnosed somewhere in the world every three minutes. To counter these tragic facts, more than 130 schools and 25,000 students participate in the annual THON. Last year, THON raised $3.1 million, earning it a national ranking from US News & Report Health. As US News adds, “Nursing excellence is recognized through the hospital’s Nurse Magnet status.”

These funds, according to Four Diamonds, have covered medical bills for eligible Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital recipients, while it also hires child life specialists and clinical nutritionists for the families and patients affected.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!