From supplying hot chocolate to chilly students waiting in line to providing baked goods to the Family Carnival, Penn State Food Services has found ways over the last several years to support THON–the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, which raises funds and efforts for the fight against childhood cancer.
“Our involvement starts early in the year with donations of cookies and cupcakes for Kickoff to THON, 100 Days to THON, The Family Carnival, and donating cookies to baskets that students take to Four Diamond families spending the holidays at Hershey Medical Center,” says Jamie Robinson, senior assistant director in Residential Dining.
Throughout THON weekend–this year it falls February 15-17–it’s a team effort as volunteers across campus support various THON activities. West Food District donates pizzas for those staffing the Lion Line telefund organization. East Food District orders and prepares hot chocolate to hand out to students waiting to get into the Bryce Jordan Center, and volunteers from all five dining commons at University Park come together to prepare and serve meals for student dancers.
“Our support for THON began in 2015, the first year we handed out hot chocolate to students outside the Bryce Jordan Center,” says Jim Meinecke, associate director of Residential Dining. “The support grew as I talked with the THON hospitality team and students identified needs such as bakery donations, vendor donations, and meals for dancers.
“And the support has continued to grow every year. We’ve made THON shirts, buttons, and stickers for our staff as they participate in THON weekend.”
Here are some ways Penn State Campus Dining is fueling THON this year:
Bagel sales from Edge coffee shop in East Food District will have all proceeds go to THON, courtesy of Bagel Crust Cafe, a downtown State College business donating five dozen THON-colored bagels each day from February 11 through 18. “Bagel Crust Cafe bagels have been a hit in Edge, and Bagel Crust is super creative with colors, flavors, and themes,” says Robinson.
To support dancers and THON volunteers before the big weekend, Campus Dining will feature snacks and meals that will energize participants. For example, all dining commons will offer carrot penne pasta bowls throughout this week.
Friday, February 15, volunteers will distribute hot chocolate to students waiting to enter the Bryce Jordan Center for THON weekend.
From there, Market East will remain open throughout the entire weekend to support students coming and going from THON - operating for 65-consecutive hours when it closes at Midnight on Monday morning.
Campus Dining is also offering $7 meal deals at the all-you-care-to-eat facilities for family members attending THON.
A final donation of support comes with a free meal to all dancers on Tuesday, February 19. All dancers that bring their bib to an all-you-care-to-eat location will receive a free dinner.