THON 2020, Timothy Piazza banner

A banner for Timothy Piazza set up by AYUDA during THON 2020 at the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.

For the fifth year in a row, special interest organization Ayuda has a sign in the Bryce Jordan Center to honor former member Timothy Piazza.

Piazza, who was a Penn State sophomore, died on Feb. 4, 2017 after an alcohol-fueled bid-acceptance night at the now-banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Piazza consumed at least 18 drinks in 82 minutes and fell down the fraternity's stairs. Brothers waited hours before calling for help.

During his time at Penn State, Piazza was a part of Ayuda. According to Ayuda President Emily Briselli, Piazza was loved by the organization’s THON family and members.

Briselli (senior-digital and print journalism) said since Piazza’s death, Ayuda has put up a sign every year at THON to honor his memory.

This year, even with virtual THON, there was an opportunity for organizations to turn in signs to be hung in the BJC. Ayuda contributed signs for the organization and Piazza.

“It is important to our org to do what we can for his memory and dedication to THON and for him to live on for his family and our THON family as well who loved him so much,” Briselli said.

Briselli said it was really important for Ayuda to ensure its THON family and Piazza’s family know members will keep Piazza’s memory and his dedication to THON alive, because “he was such an important part of Ayuda.”

The organization’s sole purpose is to fundraise for THON all year long while supporting its Four Diamond family the Goras, according to Briselli who has been with the organization for the past four years.

“We are working toward the goal of ending pediatric cancer one day,” Briselli said. “Even though it has been a difficult year for sure, we’ve been able to still engage in THON opportunities, fundraising and connect with our THON family safely.”

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