Written By: Ava DiGiacomo and Madelyn Harnish
Known as the first to arrive and the last to leave, the OPPerations Committee (OPP) is an integral part of THON Weekend. The OPPerations Committees for Penn State’s THON™ are a group of hardworking volunteers who are eager to help families impacted by childhood cancer, just as all THON committees strive for. There are around 800 volunteers that make up the committee members for operations. These individuals oversee the setup, maintenance, and tear down of the event.
Sophomore Lia Gerboc is currently an OPP Committee Member for her second year in a row. She is on Ross Zofcin’s committee, Camp ROSS: The Final mOPP.
“I decided to get involved with a THON organization because it was always something I wanted to do before coming to Penn State,” Gerboc said. “I want to be a doctor in the future, and I worked with kids in high school, so THON’s mission and cause is something that is super important to me.”
When Lia was deciding which committee to join, OPPerations drew her in due to the impact OPPerations has on THON Weekend. She wanted to be a part of the action!
“OPP has so many different roles and jobs that you get to experience all different parts of THON and make life-lasting friendships all at once!”
Another major aspect of the OPPerations Committee is working directly with the other committees that make up THON as a whole. They are in charge of making sure the weekend, and all the activities that encompass it run smoothly. In order to achieve this, they need to communicate with other committees. For Lia, this was one of her favorite aspects of OPPerations.
“I think OPP is so unique because it is such a tight-knit family, but we get to collaborate with so many other committees,” Gerboc said. “I love being able to work with other committees and work behind the scenes during THON Weekend.”
At last year’s THON Weekend, Lia had a lot of shifts on the event level. This allowed her to be on the floor with the families and dancers for the majority of the weekend.
When reminiscing on her past THON experience, Lia becomes more and more excited for THON 2023.
“For THON this year, I’m an LT so I’m really hoping to make a bigger impact on not only my committee, but THON itself,” Gerboc said. “My goal is to not only raise money for THON but to spread the mission and create so many new friendships while I’m at it.”