Thumbs up: Lillian R. Whitmire and Roland M. Whitmire are giving back to their community even in death.

The York City couple left $2.5 million to the York County Community Foundation, money that will be used to provide grants for community improvement efforts.

The couple, who had no children, were married 58 years and lived most of their lives on West Philadelphia Street. Lillian Whitmire died in 2007 at age 85. Her husband died four years later at age 89.

After their retirements, the couple worked with their local attorney Jon Countess -- with local CGA Law Firm -- to develop an estate plan for the rest of their lives and after their deaths.

"They were very pleased to learn about York County Community Foundation and its ability to help donors drive improvement in their community for many generations," Countess said in a statement.

The $2.5 million gift, just announced last week, will help create improvements in the foundation's focus areas of education, downtown revitalization, aging issues and general community improvement efforts.

Thumbs up: Countless philanthropic Penn Staters have participated in THON, the annual IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon benefiting families affected by pediatric cancer.

But Red Lion High graduate Savannah Smith offers more direct support, using her own experience to help bereaved families attending the event.


Smith, a University Park visual communication and geography major, has been involved with 11 THON events, dating back to 2002, when her brother, Jed, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He died eight years later at age 12.

Last year, she served as the bereaved families' contact and ran a workshop to help them through their grief.

"Because of my experience of losing my brother and being close with so many bereaved families, I felt that I had the experience and know-how" to work between THON and families who have lost their children, Smith said.

Her effort is featured in a new documentary, "Why We Dance: The Story of THON," which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the fundraiser. The hour-long video is available on YouTube and Vimeo.