Bloomsburg Fair Holds Pediatric Cancer Fundraiser

BLOOMSBURG FAIRGROUNDS -- Bloomsburg University students walked around the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds on Friday, collecting money for pediatric cancer.

Earlier this week, Penn State students got in trouble for doing a similar thing.

The fair's director of security now says he will give Penn State's THON the money that students collected last Saturday.

THON is a student-organized effort at Penn State that raises millions to fight childhood cancer.

Friday's "Go for the Gold" fundraiser is the only time people are allowed to collect money on the fairgrounds.

The fundraiser was started by director of security Bill Barratt after the son of a long-time vendor was diagnosed with pediatric cancer. The boy's name is Gavin.

"His last MRI was completely clean," said Gavin's father Danny Royer. "They told us there is nothing left in it, what they thought was something is actually just producing bone marrow."

Now Gavin is in remission and playing flag football.

One of the Bloomsburg University students collecting donations is Gavin's cousin.

"Gavin is like a brother to me because I'm an only child. I'm really close to my family and the fair has been a part of my life since I was a baby," said Dariann Pastelok.

Earlier this week, there was some controversy with Penn State students collecting donations on fair property. Barratt says that situation is about to get resolved.

"The money that was taken from the canners earlier, I will personally go to Penn State and make sure it goes to where it was supposed to go because people have been calling, 'I gave $5, I want it to go to that organization,' so I am going to Penn State," said Barratt.

Barratt says he has not been contacted by THON or by Penn State University. When he gives back the $74.60, he will explain to Penn State officials the Bloomsburg Fair's policy on soliciting. He hopes the THON issue does not overshadow "Go for the Gold."

"It means a lot to me, personally, but there are so many kids out there that need help," said Royer.

Barratt was originally going to donate the money he confiscated from the Penn State students to Friday's fundraiser, which benefits Janet Weis Children's Hospital. But after getting so many angry calls and emails, Barratt changed his mind and will go to Penn State as soon as the fair is over.