Penn State’s ‘Sack for a Cure’ looks to tackle pediatric cancer

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STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local college is using football to help spread awareness and raise money for childhood cancer.

When Penn State sacked Wisconsin’s quarterback in Saturday’s game, it was more than just a good defensive play.

“So we worked with the team and came up with the idea that every time the Penn State football team at a home game, the defense completed a sack, we would make a donation to THON,” Christine Smith, chief marketing officer for National Fitness Partners/Planet Fitness said.

THON is a student-run organization dedicated to helping children and families affected by pediatric cancer. For every sack by Penn State, Planet Fitness will donate $1,000. It’s their first year celebrating what’s ‘Sack for a Cure’.

“Just knowing what we know about Penn State and their previous number of sacks, we’re hoping that we can reach an additional $20,000 that we’ll donate this year, Smith said.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 10,000 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Penn State says this is something it’s passionate about and creating this partnership was a no-brainer.

“We really want to push out the best possible message we can and have a greater impact on not just Penn State fans but also those in the community that these types of initiatives are benefitting,” Erica Roy, coordinator of partnership services for Penn State Sports Properties said.

They planned on doing this last year but decided to wait because of COVID restrictions. Penn State is hoping to have ‘Sack for a Cure’ every year.

“We take it year by year but it does look like it’s going to be good for future years as well,” Roy said.

The Nittany Lions’ next game is Saturday, September 11th against Ball State, but you don’t need to be at the game to support the cause. For more information on donating, head to

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