Four Greater Allegheny Students to Dance at THON

Four Penn State Greater Allegheny students will participate in the 2009 Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) Feb. 22-24. The 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping event is an annual fundraiser for The Four Diamonds fund, which helps families with children who have cancer.

The four student dancers will participate with the more than 700 other dancers during THON. Each Penn State location can send representatives to participate in raising funds. Last year the Greater Allegheny campus raised more than $11,000 of the nearly $7 million total. Each organization at Penn State uses collection cans once a month between October and February to raise money for THON, and that is Penn State Greater Allegheny?s main source of donations for the event.  This year?s goal is to surpass last year?s total and to one day be able to cure every child who has cancer.

The Greater Allegheny THON chair is senior information science and technology major, Michael Wancheck, of Jefferson Hills, Pa., who has been an active member of THON since his sophomore year. For THON 2008, Wancheck represented Greater Allegheny as a dancer.

The four Greater Allegheny students dancing in the 2009 marathon are:
? Ashley Altavilla, sophomore, pursuing a degree in elementary education from Greenock, Pa. She will be using her passion for THON and the families it helps as her motivation.
? Danielle Soucy, sophomore, pursuing a degree in biology from Los Angeles, Calif., is happy to represent her campus as the only Student Government Association senator dancing this year. She is dancing in memory of her grandparents.
? Zach Schmidt, a sophomore from Pittsburgh, pursuing a degree in journalism, is president of the Collegian campus newspaper.
? Santwon Hines, a sophomore pursuing a degree in business management from Washington. D.C., is also a resident assistant and Student Government Association chief of staff, and looks forward to being on his feet for 46 hours.
Amber Pistella, sophomore, pursuing a degree in engineering and co-chair of THON is from Turtle Creek, Pa. Amber will help cheer on the dancers with the help of 40 other Greater Allegheny students called ?Moralers.?
THON will begin at 6 p.m. Feb.  20 and end at 4 p.m. Feb. 22. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world and the largest student organization on the Greater Allegheny campus. To donate please contact the student activities office at (412) 675-9493 or [email protected].