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State College To Become 'City of THON'

by on February 10, 2015 6:25 AM

In just a week and a half, State College will no longer be called State College.

While the world’s largest student-run philanthropic organization takes over the Bryce Jordan Center for 46 hours to support pediatric cancer patients, the borough will celebrate the event by renaming itself the City of THON.

State College mayor Elizabeth Goreham presented THON 2015 Executive Director Megan Renaut with an official proclamation from the borough at Monday night’s council meeting.

“’For the Kids’ are three words that motivate and inspire more than 15,000 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to give of their time and selfless dedication in the pursuit of finding a cure for childhood cancer,” Goreham said to Renaut in front of a crowded council meeting.

“Thanks to THON, the Four Diamonds and the Penn State Hershey Medical Center recruits world-class talent to continue innovative research benefiting children worldwide,” Goreham added. “I, Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, do hereby proclaim this ceremonial name change."

State College will be officially called the City of THON from Friday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. until the following Sunday at 4 p.m., the length of the 46-hour no-sitting dance marathon. THON raised $13.3 million for the Four Diamonds Fund in 2014 and has raised more than $114 million since its inception in 1977.

As the meeting progressed, more pertinent issues arose including the death of police officer Robert Bradley. State College police chief Tom King announced the sad news at the start of the meeting, calling for a moment of silence after informing the council and attendees that Bradley collapsed on the job Monday afternoon. The 19-year State College police veteran was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Mittany Medical Center after multiple attempts to revive him.

“[Bradley] and his wife Jessica have three children and a step-son,” King said. “At this really sad time for the family, I ask that you keep Bob and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

The council’s most robust debate came late in a long Monday night meeting when it debated the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s legislative priorities for 2015. The priorities are essentially a list of goals for municipalities within Pennsylvania. The priorities include reform to collective bargaining and pension laws for public safety employees, which was the most contentious issue amongst council members.

“I see this is as a co-opting of municipalities supporting big business,” councilman Peter Morris said. “It would be political cowardice to accept this.”

Morris then moved to amend the legislation removing these priorities and the council agreed that their comments would later be provided to the PML by the mayor.

Borough manager Tom Fountaine argued that this legislation is not intended to reduce the right of public safety employees to bargain collectively, though councilman Evan Myers didn’t agree.

“This is an attempt to cut bargaining rights of certain public employees. As it says in the document from the PML, this hasn’t been updated in 46 years, but it states that since the late 1960s, the standards of public safety pay employees pay and benefits have increased greatly,” Myers said. “Yes, they have, and good for them for being able to obtain those through the process of collective bargaining.”

After passing an amendment adding that the council supports immigration reform to the legislative priorities, the legislation passed with just two dissenting votes from Morris and Myers. The council will meet again on Monday, March 2.

 

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Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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