Weeks 28 & 29: Thawing out

Everybody says this is the worst ever winter in State College. The University was closed this afternoon and students dismissed because of snow and freezing rain. Classes at Penn State are canceled only on rare occasions - so the weather is really, really terrible.

However, because everybody wants this cold and snowy winter to be over there are many different events going on all around State College and University Park. (note to self: write a blog post about the difference between the two). From Wednesday 25 February till Sunday March 1, The Thaw festival took place with many interesting events. I attended the TEDxPSU and The State of Storytelling, both of which were very-well organized and featured some great speakers, storytellers and singer-songwriters.

On Sunday we attended the Global Connections Fundraiser - Passport on a Plate. The theme was the ocean and the Caribbean (everybody's yearning for sunshine) and each of the tables was decorated by a volunteer. For me, the most beautiful decoration was the one named People, Places and Things, made by our very own Jane Reese.

Here are some other decorations:

Delicious themed food was prepared by the renowned chefs from the Center County:

Of course, we were all dressed up for this occasion:

(despite the snowstorm raging outside)

There were also a silent and a live auctions organized to raise the money for the programs of the Global Connections with some really attractive auction lots, like a week in the Caribbean.

There was another fundraiser organized in University Park last weekend - THON - the amazing Penn State  Dance Marathon. Since 1977, Penn State students have raised more than $ 114 million for children with cancer and their families. This year they have raised more than $ 13 million. Fundraising lasts for the whole year and it culminates in a marathon during which dancers cannot sit nor sleep for 46 hours. It takes places in the Bryce Jordan Center and everyone is invited to come and support the dancers any time during those 46 hours. The spirit, the atmosphere, that something that you can feel in the air was absolutely incredible. 


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