by Hanna Bernett and Gabby Oglesby
During the final minutes of THON 2021, approximately 165,000 screens were tuned into the THON 2021 livestream, dwarfing the Bryce Jordan Center capacity of about 20,000. While THON has had a livestream for several years, it’s never been as high-quality or widely utilized as in 2021. This means that although we can’t gather in the BJC together, THON has been made more accessible than ever before. In a way, one could say that being kept apart has brought even more of us together.
As we all know, the past year has left us with lots of challenges, resulting in THON’s adaptation to a completely virtual format. While many are disappointed by the change, it’s crucial to remember that these unusual circumstances have led people across all areas of THON to develop new and creative ways to fundraise. Some new creative fundraising methods include: twitch gaming streams, online workout challenges, and Instagram dares all to raise money for THON. People have been able to bring talents and different ideas that hopefully will expand fundraising efforts for many years to come.
These different ideas and efforts span the entire THON community. Committees and organizations across the board have been able to develop smaller, behind the scenes projects that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise. For example, OPP Captain Steve Andrews (‘22) reported,“OPP has been able to focus on creating new alt-funds and raising money FTK instead of some of our traditional tasks! Because of that effort, in future years we will be able to continue those alt funds!” These alt-funds have included the OPP Turkey Trot, Bachelor Bingo, Pumpkin Decorating, OPP Sticker Fundraiser, and an Among Us tournament. While some of these alt-funds are brand new this year, others are older ideas that OPP has had time to put a greater emphasis on in the past year. Andrews added afterwards that he would like to credit the Fundraising Specialists and Inter Committee Fundraising Captain, Ridge Bachman, for many of these awesome developments.
Even this blog is a positive product of these past year’s circumstances. With the blog only taking off last year we have had the opportunity and lots of room to expand it and make it our own. Due to virtual circumstances, we have been able to really focus on producing new and different content such as looking back at old years along with new ones, organization spotlights, expanding on what THON means to us, and sharing people’s stories. Through the blog, we can continue sharing stories and unite the THON community even given the circumstances.