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UTOPIAN KITCHEN AND PENN STATE'S THON

I am so proud and excited to announce that Utopian Kitchen is partnering with Penn State's Dance Marathon (THON for short) to help fundraising efforts for the Four Diamonds Foundation to find a cure for childhood cancer.  One of the most memorable, rewarding, and awe-inspiring experiences in my life was my involvement in THON and I am so excited to be able to give back on behalf of Utopian Kitchen. 

THON is a student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. THON's mission is to provide emotional and financial support, spread awareness and ensure funding for critical research - all in pursuit of a cure.  Since its inception in 1977, THON has raised more than $146 million dollars for the Four Diamonds Foundation and their efforts to conquer childhood cancer.  

Use the promo code "THON" to receive 10% off your order, and Utopian Kitchen will donate 20% of the order total to THON in its fight against childhood cancer.  This promotion will run from now through February 18 - which is the weekend of THON 2018.  

To learn more about THON and the Four Diamonds Foundation, please visit www.thon.org.  You can also read my personal connection and experience with THON below.

- Chris

In 2005, I was lucky enough to represent the Blue & White Society as a dancer in THON.  Each organization is linked with a Four Diamonds Family, and it was during this year that I met the Loose Family - and spent a lot of time specifically with Jamie and Brandon.  Brandon had been diagnosed with stage 4 nueroblastoma at the age of 4.  We met for the first time at his house a few weeks before Christmas.  He was understandably shy at first, but the more we began to visit and spend time together, the more I got to see the tremendous kid Brandon was. 

In February '05 I danced in THON in honor of Brandon, but it wasn't until after graduation and the years after that my relationship with Brandon and Jamie grew even stronger.  With Brandon receiving treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and me working in South Philadelphia, we spent many days on the floor building towers of random objects as high as they could go.  I'll never forget how patient and careful Brandon was with wanting to build the towers higher, but then how excited and funny he thought it was when they came crashing down.  

In the 3+ years I spent getting to know Brandon, I never once saw a sick child.  I saw a young boy who loved playing football, Penn State, water gun fights, building dominoes and towers, and everything else a boy at his age loves to do.  In my time visiting Brandon while he was receiving treatment, I never heard him complain, throw a tantrum, or act depressed.  In fact, he was constantly sliding around the hospital hallways in those shoes where the wheel pops out of the heel.  His spirit, energy, innocence, and positive light was a billion times brighter than the devastating disease his body was fighting.  

Brandon Adam Loose was born June 13, 1999 and flew to the angels October 6, 2008.  

Brandon had a wish box where he kept three wishes. The first one was to marry his girlfriend, Sophie.  The second wish was that all his pain goes away. And his third and final wish was to find a cure for cancer.  

I am proud to be able to help in any way that I can to try to fulfill Brandon's third wish.  

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