THON Fundraisers For The Cure

Story posted February 18, 2022 in CommRadio, News by Emily McGlynn

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — THON would not be THON without its fundraisers. Fundraisers are the main reason children with cancer are helped with their bills, treatments and other expenses.

THON is a year-long effort to raise money for families and kids struggling with childhood cancer. It is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy that raises millions of dollars every year. More than 16,500 students help raise money, organize and raise awareness.

A lot of the time, students put their fundraising link in their social media bios. There, people can click the link and donate as much as they can to their personal fundraisers. Sometimes, people share stories about how childhood cancer has touched or affected them.

Thousands of students are involved in THON through extracurricular clubs or panhellenic organizations. Each group tries to raise as much money as possible and those numbers are revealed during the final four hours of THON… All groups take it seriously and in a way, it is like a competition.

CommRadio spoke with Emma Jaffe, a fourth-year majoring in supply chain, who is the supply logistics captain for the 2021-2022 THON fundraising year. More specifically, she was in charge of the Hershey Holiday Toy Drive.

“We organize the toy drive where people can buy toys on our Amazon registry,” Jaffe said. “We collected toys for about a month and then in December we drove all the toys to Hershey Hospital. We dropped them off to the child-life specialists. We got around 700 toys this year which was amazing. We hope we brighten their day and their holiday season.”

The toy drive received donations such as Barbie’s dream house, stuffed animals and much more. This year, they have tried to incorporate more toys that teenagers would like. For example, polaroid cameras, video games, etc.

Hunter Dorfner, a second-year in the division of undergraduate studies, is in the THON supply logistics captain committee and is also the THON raffle captain. It is the largest alternative THON fundraiser.

“We sell raffle tickets for $5, 100% of those go towards the THON total. They can also be 100% credited. Throughout the summer, we work with donors to get donations for prizes to raffle off,” Dorfner said.

Prizes include theme park tickets, jewelry and Dell, this year even donated a tablet.

They continuously have the raffle table open through the fall and early spring semester.

CommRadio also spoke with a local State College business, Vibe Coffee Co. located at W. Beaver Avenue and S. Atherton Street in the Graduate Apartments building. Ethan Steiger, owner of Vibe Coffee Co., opened his coffee shop in fall 2021. Since then, many organizations have reached out to do fundraisers.

“Many reach out to us and say ‘Hey I know you are a new business but we have done a ton of THON fundraisers through other businesses before, would you be interested?’,” Steiger said.

Because it is a new business, the fundraising publicity has been helping. “We have a pretty unique location where we are a part of downtown and right at the outskirts of it. I think a lot of people are still finding out about us.”

“With the amount of people involved in THON, we are getting people from all over the Borough and even outside. I think a lot of people made the extra effort to go out of their way to check out the fundraiser and get to know Vibe.”

More fundraising ideas have been brainstormed and completed after canvassing was banned in spring 2019. Canvassing is when people go door-to-door in their hometowns or other places outside of State College to raise money. THON made this decision because people were getting into car accidents, and they thought it would be safer to ban canvassing.

From the big fundraisers to the small, THON and those who are affected by childhood cancer are grateful for anything and everything they receive.

For more information and to donate, visit THON’s website at


Emily McGlynn is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email