MONT ALTO, Pa. — On Dec. 8, the Franklin County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association in partnership with the Mont Alto Alumni Society will host the second annual Polar Plunge, which supports fundraising efforts for the student-run Penn State Mont Alto THON (Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon) group.
The event will begin at noon at the Cowans Gap Lake Beach area, 6235 Aughwick Road, Ft. Loudon, Pennsylvania. All funds raised will benefit the Four Diamonds Fund to fight pediatric cancer.
Registration to participate is $12 per person and includes a free promotional T-shirt. Participants are encouraged to secure at least $100 in sponsorship. Prizes will be awarded to top fundraisers.
Plunging begins in small group waves at 1 p.m. Waivers must be signed up in advance of plunging — a quick submersion. Safety personnel will be on-site during the plunge.
During its inaugural event, the Polar Plunge raised more than $17,000 “For The Kids.”
“About 15,780 children in the United States under the age of 19 will be diagnosed with cancer this year,” according to the Four Diamonds website. In addition, about 1,250 children younger than 15 years old are expected to die from cancer this year. Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more — an improvement since the mid-1970s, when the five-year survival rate was less than 60 percent.
In 1977, THON, now the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, partnered with Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital and designated the fund as the sole beneficiary of its fundraising efforts. Over the past 42 years, donations to THON have resulted in more than $150 million to fight pediatric cancer.