Written by: Jasmin Modricker and Cameron Berger
One of the newest THON™ organizations this school year is BMES Benefitting THON which is part of the Biomedical Engineering Society at Penn State. Samantha (Sam) Freed is the primary chair for the academic THON organization who is ecstatic to start the new group for biomedical engineering students and help donate towards THON. The reason why BMES started a THON org was because of Sam’s experience in dancing in THON her sophomore year for Penn State Beaver. She wanted to join a THON org but wanted to join one that had a strong relation to her. This passion for THON prompted her to ask the executive committee of BMES if they could have their own THON org. She stated that she wanted to “make her mark” at Penn State when talking about THON.
Although the organization was started in August, BMES Benefitting THON has hosted multiple fundraisers already! One event they hosted was a Bingo Event on October 10th, 2022 with over 100 people in attendance and a total of $860 raised for THON! A few of the giveaways were a Penn State student football ticket to the Whiteout game, a Pittsburgh Steelers football player Cam Hayward signed picture, and roughly 35 other donated gifts. Since the event was very successful, they are planning to repeat the event with Hershey Kisses in January. Sam explains that aside from the bingo event, the team is excited to do as much as they can as a new organization!
Sam explained leading a new THON organization is “very exciting and also very stressful.”
She attends 5-6 meetings a week as a Primary Chair for BMES Benefitting THON and there are not many members involved with the organization. However, to overcome these struggles, the team perseveres, “we take the highs and lows.” Their goal is to raise $10,000 by February to donate and get 10-15 regular, participating members part of the organization. Sam said, “I THON because I can.” She says she’s been blessed with happiness and health, so she uses her skillset to help people. Her and her team love THON and want to help people who need it.
Sam explained that BMES Benefitting THON is excited for THON weekend and “they are excited just to have the opportunity to be there.” One of their goals is to be chosen to have a dancer at THON, and if not, they are going to be there to support everyone as always. They are also excited to see how much they can raise as a small and new organization in their first year. Every success is rewarding and currently they have raised roughly $2400 already. They recently won the grand prize of $1,000 at the Phone-A-THON on October 25th and could not believe it! One of Sam’s biggest hopes is that BMES Benefitting THON will continue for coming years and all the hard work put in as a first-year, new THON organization will pay off!