Caltagirone congratulates 2017 THON fundraisers

Pediatric cancer fight gets over $10M injection

READING, Feb. 20 - State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, today released the following statement on the conclusion of THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, which raised $10,045,478.44 in the last year to fight pediatric cancers.

The Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) hosted more than 16,500 student volunteers at the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend during its annual 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to fight childhood cancer. The fundraising total is calculated at the culmination of the dance marathon.

"What these student-philanthropists accomplish each year is nothing less than a miracle for the thousands of children fighting cancer," Caltagirone said. "The students, donors and organizers serve as inspiration to us all.

"I've walked the halls of kids fighting cancer in Pennsylvania's specialized cancer hospitals and was forever changed. Once you pick up this fight, it never leaves you. The kids up in State College, and all over Pennsylvania, recognize that as well. Their work has arguably put Pennsylvania at the nation's forefront for cancer-research awareness, and I'm proud to do what I can to add to that legacy."

Caltagirone this month introduced a package of legislation to help fund pediatric cancer research.

The package comprises:

H.B. 46, which would establish a check-off box on Pennsylvania's state income tax form where a taxpayer could voluntarily contribute no less than $5 for pediatric cancer research within the commonwealth;

H.B. 404, which would establish a Pediatric Cancer Research registration license plate that would be made available through the state Department of Transportation;

H.B. 407, which would allow Pennsylvanians to donate to pediatric cancer research on their vehicle registrations and driver’s license renewals; and

H.B. 408, which would establish tax credits for businesses that are researching and pursuing a cure for pediatric cancers.

If passed, the bills will raise more than $10 million per year for research within the commonwealth.