Up to nine students from Penn State University will make a sojourn to Woodbury this weekend to participate in a charitable program that last year raised over $2 million for the Four Diamonds fund, which benefits children with cancer.
On Saturday, February 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., the college students will gather at Edwards supermarket on Jericho Turnpike, collecting money for the fund, which is run by Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
This project, called THON, works on two levels. Students from various organizations, fraternities and sororities from Penn State travel around the country to various locations to collect money, while other students get people to sponsor them in a 48-hour dance marathon that will take place back on campus the weekend of February 19-21.
Because student Jessica Geller was willing and able to host her friends for a weekend at her house in Jericho, with mother Tina Geller's cooperation of course, she was able to branch out this charitable operation to Long Island. According to the Gellers, an additional group of students will visit nearby next weekend as well, led by Syosset resident Brad Gallo, although that location has not yet been determined.
According to the Gellers, THON is the largest student philanthropic group in the nation, and it's very big on campus.
"If you live in Pennsylvania, this is all you've heard about since you were a little kid," said Jessica. "People come from other campuses to make money and dance, and local businesses donate stuff."
Jessica, a senior, has even joined the dance-a-thon before, lasting 36 of the 48 hours before exhaustion set in. She may have never completed the full two days, but "I really think it's a good cause, so I stick to it, and do as much as I can."