Student's Metal Art Helps Raise Funds for Cancer-Prevention Charity
A charity drive to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation recently benefited from the artistry and technical skill of a Pennsylvania College of Technology student who fabricated two pieces of metal art that were awarded as prizes for the event.
The unique fundraiser brought together video gamers and gaming fans for a six-day video gaming marathon called Awesome Games Done Quick 2012, hosted by the online group Speed Demos Archive.
Thomas D. Folino, of Centre Hall, received an associate degree in welding technology from Penn College in August and is pursuing a second degree in automated manufacturing technology. He fabricated two pieces of metal art that were among more than 120 prizes raffled during the January event: a replica (without sharp edges or cutting ability) of the "Master Sword" from the long-lived "Legend of Zelda" video game series, and a meat tenderizer inspired by the game "Super Meat Boy."
Gaming fans logged on to the Web to watch live streaming video of the 70 players convened at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Md., as they completed "speed runs" of favorite video games, attempting to beat games in record time.
"Doing such a thing requires great skill, and it's very entertaining to watch," Folino said.
Those logging on donated money for chances to win prizes, including those donated by Folino, and to watch players pull a variety of tricks.
"The donations totaled $149,044.99 from 3,193 donors," Folino said. "About $24,000 of that came from my two prizes."
Much of the work was done in Penn College's automated manufacturing laboratory and was approved by faculty because of the project's instructional value. Folino employed some advanced CNC (computer-numerical controlled) programming skills using Mastercam CAD/CAM software in conjunction with three- and four-axis CNC Haas Machining Centers to manufacture various components of the "Master Sword" and meat tenderizer.
Folino also used various other machine tools such as engine lathes, milling machines, and various grinders and sanders. Using torches, he carefully heated the metal to create color variations on the "Master Sword" artwork. He began work on the art pieces in mid-August and finished in mid-December.
The Awesome Games Done Quick host, Speed Demos Archive , hosts videos and discussions by people who speed run games.
"I had been watching their videos for years when they did their first fundraiser a few years ago," Folino said. "I noticed that their prizes were very popular, and I decided that they could benefit from a contribution of my talent.
"I intend to make a living by making metal art, so this was really just another project for me. Of course, the fact that they were doing this for the Prevent Cancer Foundation made it an easy choice to support. It seems we're all destined for cancer or Alzheimer's one day unless someone finds a fix."
To learn more about automated manufacturing technology and other academic programs offered by the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies at Penn College, call 570-327-4520 or visit online .
For more about Penn College, visit on the Web , email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.