Fifty two on Friday-Week Forty!!!

A blog circle of photographers from all over the world, both amateur and professional alike, sharing their interpretations of a common theme.  At the bottom of each post, click the link for the next photographer until you come full circle, back here to my blog.

 I tried to think a bit outside the box for this week's shot.  My youngest son, Kevin, was coming home from college last weekend, when I began brainstorming ideas for a family portrait.  I wasn't coming up with any unique, but in the course of explaining why he was coming home to a friend,  I got a better idea.  
Kevin is senior at Penn State University.  For years the students of Penn State have participated in the largest student run philanthropic organization in the world, know as THON. THON is a year long fund raising event that raises money to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund at the Hershey Medical Center and more specifically, two families who have had children with pediatric cancer.. 
One of the ways the students of Penn State raise money is by canning.    Groups of  students usually travel to someone's home for a weekend. (they do this multiple times during the year.) They sleep on couches, floors, or beds if they're available. Then they get up early on Saturday morning and actually stand on street corners, outside of grocery stores, or where ever towns will let them and with cans in their hands they collect donations.  It doesn't matter to them what the weather may be, they just go.   And they do it all again on Sunday. Some are even ambitious enough to start when they get where they're going on Friday evening.
The culmination of the fund raising is a 46-hour  dance marathon in February.  More than 15,000 Penn State from all campuses volunteer their time to raise money to help the families of Brittany and Katelyn.  The students of Penn State have sponsored Brittany and Katelyn for the last several years.  
This past February THON raised a record $10, 680,000 towards the elimination of childhood cancer. The efforts of these students doesn't end there, though.  They just don't help out financially, but emotionally as well.  These students spend their weekend time throughout the year going bowling,  on picnics, or to the local amusement park or any other number of activities to raise the spirits of the families they have pledged to help and grown to love. 

For my shot this week, I chose to highlight just a few of the kids that so unselfishly donate their time.  These kids are part of Kevin's fraternity family.  Alpha Kappa Psi is a business fraternity that Kevin is proud to be a part of.  They are brothers.  They are family.  I'm honored to have met these kids and am looking forward to hosting a canning weekend at my house in November so that I can get to know them better and support them while they support their 
THON families.

To continue around the blog circle, start here with Christine Baylock

Part of the AKPsi family:

Yvonne, Rita, Lindsey, Emily, Steve, Kevin, Luke

Kevin (on right) and his friend Steve have known each other since first grade, were roommates for their first two years of college, and now live in the frat house, along with ten other "brothers."

 If you'd like to learn more or even donate to THON click here. The link will take you to Alpha Kappa Psi's THON page where you can read more about the event.  If you choose to make a  donation, there is a link at the bottom of the page. Please select "organization" in the Designation Selection box.  Once you save your info at the bottom of that page, and continue onto the next page, you'll be able to select Alpha Kappa Psi as the specific organization getting credit for the donation.  
Ninety-six percent of the the total donation amount goes to the Four Diamonds Fund to help with research and to support the families affected by childhood cancers. 
If you are unable to donate at this time, please keep these students and the familes they support in your thoughts and/or prayers.

It all means so much!