STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Organizers of Penn State's student-run THON charitable campaign have suspended a "canning" weekend - when student collect donations in coffee cans - in the wake of a student's death in a car crash.
Nineteen-year-old Vitalya Sepot, of Branford, Connecticut, was killed when the vehicle she was in crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Sept. 27. She and six others were returning from canning in the Philadelphia when they crashed.
THON executive director Katie Malley says the group is suspending canning over the weekend of Oct. 23-25 to review policies and procedures for canning, and THON's overall fundraising model. The ban applies even to students who wouldn't have traveled to collect donations. The next canning weekend is Nov. 13-15.
The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, referred to as THON, raises money to fight pediatric cancer.