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Penn State Abington Grads attempt to Dance FTK!

Two Penn State Abington Graduates are setting out on a journey to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer. Melissa Hackett ‘11 and Jill Mensch ‘12, Both previous THON Chairs for Abington, are looking to take a stand against pediatric cancer by competing to dance in THON 2014, for the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG)1378828_10200862553634513_859491704_n

DMAIG is awarded 2 dancer couples and to earn a spot as a dancer you need to raise the most money out of all the other alumni FTK (For The Kids). Every year more than 700 dancers take to the floor at the Bryce Jordan Center in Penn State for a 46 hour no sleeping, no sitting, dance marathon to show their support for the Four Diamonds Fund and all THON families. For those of you who don’t know, Penn State’s Dance Marathon, affectionately known as THON is the world’s largest student run philanthropy.

During their time as Penn State and beyond, THON has become a big part of their lives. “THON has taught us to look at life differently, and never take a day for granted,” said Hackett.  The girls were both very involved at Penn State Abington both in THON and other areas of the campus such as the FYE Program, Student Life and Blogging for the Campus Blog.

Jill continues to be a part of Penn State Abington as an employee of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. She shows her Penn State Pride wherever she goes and wants to continue to give back to others. Penn State has taught her that giving back and being involved is the most important thing and so she continues to help others even after her time as a student.

“Dancing for 46 hours, for the fight against pediatric cancer, would mean the world to us. The kids and their families go through so much and this weekend shows them how much we support them.” Mensch says. “Every year we’re in disbelief of how much THON raises for the Four Diamonds Fund. It brings tears to our eyes thinking about the pain that the kids and their families go through but we can smile knowing just how many people THON has helped over the years. We want to dance for the families, for hope, for a cure, and most importantly FOR THE KIDS!”

There are several different ways that you can help us reach our goal:

  • You can donate online at (When you click Donate Now be sure to click on Support the Thon Organization/Dancer of your choice and click on DMAIG-Jill Mensch & Melissa Hackett.)
  • Mail a check to Jill or Melissa (Checks made payable to Penn State Dance Marathon and sent to Attn: Jill Mensch Springhouse 1600 Woodland Rd. Abington, PA 19001)

You can direct questions to Jill Mensch ( or Melissa Hackett (


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