In 22 days we will join 15,000+ Penn State students and other pediatric cancer families for the Penn State Dance MaraTHON! THON is magical and it’s our favorite weekend of the year. For us THON is much more than the money the students raise – they have become family. THON students are amazing and work incredibly hard all year long in their fundraising efforts and bring HOPE, JOY, LOVE, FUN, and SMILES to the kids fighting cancer. We will be posting more about THON over the next three weeks and sharing THON photos and our favorite THON memories.
We are part of the Adopt-A-Family program which means our family was paired with a PSU THON organization that wants to provide support and encouragement to us. Emily was ‘adopted’ two plus years ago by the Penn State Public Relations Student Society of America – PRSSA. They are the BEST! Our organization chose two members to dance in THON this year and they are: Chelsea Slavin and Devin Schiaffino! It takes a lot of physical and mental toughness to get through those 46-hours but we know Chelsea and Devin can do it – they will be EMMA STRONG. Over 700 other Penn State students will be chosen as dancers for the 46-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer and we will be there all weekend to support them.
You can send mail to Emily at THON for Kids Mail Call. What is Kids Mail Call? On Saturday night of THON weekend, Emily will go up on stage and get mail sent to her from students, friends, and families!
You can send the mail to:
Emily (or Emma) Whitehead
c/o THON Kids Mail Call
University Park, PA 16802
You can also send mail and packages to Emily’s dancers to support them through the weekend! Let them know you are a friend of Emily’s. You can send our dancers mail at:
Attn: Mail Call
Chelsea Slavin – #297A and/or
Devin Shiaffino – #297B
University Park, PA 16802
Mail must be postmarked by February 5th. If you work at Penn State you can send the letters to 324 HUB and packages to 327 HUB. If you are not sure what to say, draw a picture or say a couple of words of encouragement! Read here for more info on what to put in letters and packages.
To support THON please visit www.thon.org (you are asked to choose a THON organization to credit – Emily’s org to credit is: Public Relations Student Society of America). All money from THON goes to the Four Diamonds Fund, which directly supports pediatric cancer patients at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Families supported by the fund are referred to as “Four Diamonds Families”. Some of the money goes directly to the patients and their families in the form of gas coupons (which was SO helpful to us back when we had weekly 2-hour round trips to Hershey for Emily’s appts), food coupons to use at the medical center during long stays (also handy since we lived there for months last year), prescription copays, and offsets the cost of treatment that insurance does not cover. The money also helped build the awesome new Children’s Hospital at Hershey Medical Center which opens this month.