by Molly Ligon

Written By: Brooke Richetelli and Mary Marzula

On October 16th, hundreds of volunteers, captains, and committee members participated in the THON™ 5K powered by PNC. The purpose of this event is to support THON™’s yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. This was not just a race. It was an opportunity for people to interact with Four Diamonds families, meet other THON Volunteers, listen to live music, play different games, purchase THON Merchandise from the THON store, and listen to special guest speakers. Before the race began, we had the opportunity to talk to some volunteers.   

We had the opportunity to talk to two captains on the Donor and Alumni Relations Development Committee, Riley Nesemeier, and Maddie Inserra. Inserra was also a runner in the 5K. When talking to them, we asked why they connect with THON and its mission.  

“My reasoning for how I connect to THON has changed,” Nesemeier explained. “I originally got into THON because of my roommate. Her dad passed away from cancer when she was younger, so she introduced me to THON.”  

Nesemeier has been involved in different committees for THON and during her sophomore year, she met her best friend who is a survivor of childhood cancer and became her inspiration for THON  

“I got involved with THON because I did THON in high school,” said Inserra. “But I connect with it now because of all of the amazing families, and resilient kids you get to meet.”  

Inserra had the opportunity to dance last year at THON Weekend 2022. She loves hearing all of the family stories and staying involved.  

Not only was Inserra at the 5K for her committee, but she was also participating as a runner. We asked her why she decided to sign up to run.  

“I signed up to run because I am in a sorority and our THON family is coming,” Inserra said. “They are walking so I wanted to run and cheer them on.”  

We asked Inserra what her go-to running song is, she said, “Probably Dog Days Are Over by Florence + the Machine. It has a good beat that makes it easier to run to.”  

During the THON 5K powered by PNC Bank, the Donor and Alumni Relations Development Committee has specific responsibilities that Captains had to take part in during the race.  

“We run the THON Nation table,” Inserra said. “We educate people on what THON™ Nation is and get to hang out with everyone.”   

Riley and Maddie look forward to continuing connecting with everyone involved and helping fight against childhood cancer leading up to THON Weekend 2023 throughout the future of THON.