Support Matt Zanellato and Deron Thompson with their THON campaign

Dear Members of Penn State Quarterback Club,

It was a pleasure meeting many of you at the Quarterback Club Luncheon early September the week we played Eastern Michigan. As current members of the football team Deron and I have built some great friendships and memories. Since we have attended Penn State, it has become obvious that the two biggest things at Penn State are Football and THON. The sad truth is that you rarely hear about the two together, because other than the Make-A-Wish tour of Lasch and participating in athlete hour, the football team has minor involvement in THON itself. We have both become incredibly passionate about THON and this year, we hope to have the honor of dancing in the 46-hour marathon in support of the kids. Our goal is that dancing independently would start a trend of the football team becoming more involved in THON and encourage the younger players to possibly dance in the years to come. We’re sure for those of you who attended Penn State you may have many fond memories involving THON, however I think this quote by our head football coach Bill O’Brien sums it up pretty well:


“To me, that is what Penn State is all about. Courage, honesty, wisdom, and strength. If there is one thing I learned in the last year, that is what we as a student body and a university are all about. People thank me all the time, but I thank them because to me this is the greatest university in the country, in the world, because of days like today.”


It is time to give back to those less fortunate. On average, 46 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each day. In fact, there are almost 40,000 children undergoing treatment for this disease at any given time. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding for research programs, effective treatments for many types of cancers remain elusive.


Each year, thousands of Penn State students lead a fundraising and awareness campaign in hopes of changing this outcome for these children and their families. These student-led efforts culminate in February with a 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon where volunteers show their support by taking a stand against cancer.


Since 1977, THON has raised more than $101 million for its sole beneficiary, the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Last year alone, THON raised a record-breaking $12.4 million for the fight! Today, a donation to THON means that nearly 96 cents of every dollar is directly battling pediatric cancer and investing in the health of our future. These donations enable the Four Diamonds Fund to provide outstanding care and comprehensive support to children undergoing treatment. Additionally, with the help of THON, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital is able to lead initiatives for innovative and collaborative cancer research. Because of these efforts, Penn State Hershey continues to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation for pediatric cancer care and research.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would join the fight against pediatric cancer today by making a gift to THON in our names.  You can donate online at http://giveto.psu.edu/THON-Zanellato-Thompson

For The Kids,

Matt Zanellato #80 and Deron Thompson #36

P.S. You may be able to double your impact through the support of your employer!  Find out if your company will match your gift at www.matching.psu.edu. If so, complete your companies matching form and send it in with your donations.