Though efforts to fight against pediatric cancer have been a part of Penn State for more than 30 years, it recently reached the West Coast with the third annual Lights. Camera. Cure. dance marathon in Hollywood on Sunday.
After dancing for six straight hours in the Avalon Theatre, dance marathon participants were able to see the grand total of $80, 820.59, which contributes to the overall two-year culmination of more than $100,000 donated to the Four Diamonds Fund, co-director and Penn State alum Trevor Kress said.
Just this year, Lights. Camera. Cure. became the first bi-coastal dance marathon fundraiser, Kress, Class of 2007, said. During the first two years that the event took place, money raised was solely donated to the Four Diamonds Fund through the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
This year, Kress said he and his co-directors, Landon Roberts and Gary Werkheiser, chose to also partner with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, which is a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Different from Penn State’s Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon — the world’s largest student-run philanthropy — Lights. Camera. Cure. includes a red carpet and “notable” celebrities supporting the event such as “Melissa and Joey” stars Melissa Joan Hart and Taylor Spreitler and event host Devon Werkheiser of Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, Kress said.
Differences aside, “it’s all for the kids” said Kress, adding it means “everything” to him that the same THON efforts are able to take place across the country too.
Kress danced in 2006 when THON was still a 48-hour dance marathon and said he has been inspired ever since.
Lights. Camera. Cure. "shows how deeply Penn State cares about the fight against pediatric cancer and that our efforts extend beyond that of being a student," Public Relations Captain Lauren Hoyt (senior-public relations) said via email.