Written By: Evan Halfen and Tara Sbordone
Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, also known as Tri Sigma, has become an integral part of THON™’s fundraising efforts over the past years. The sorority was founded in April 1898. With over 160 members, a large majority actively participate in THON every year.
Hannah Gowdy, fourth-year student, is the primary THON chair for Tri Sigma. Gowdy is extremely connected in all aspects of THON and has committed herself to the mission year round. The main reason she chose Penn State was because of THON.
Gowdy’s THON journey began when she was in 9th grade through her school’s mini-THON, where she started out as a member and eventually worked her way up to becoming captain. Her passion and dedication for THON has only become stronger since coming to Penn State.
THON would not be where it is today without the fundraising individuals like Gowdy commit themselves to. From publicizing DonorDrive’s on Facebook and LinkedIn, hosting date auctions and various sporting events to raise money, Gowdy has been involved in all of it, but the auctions and sporting events are her favorite.
Gowdy notes, “Our hope and goal is to one day not need to THON anymore, we are hopeful that through our and other clubs and organizations efforts that one day a cure will be found.”
Every year, Greek organizations are paired with another organization to ensure that their Four Diamonds Family is supported and lessen the financial burden placed on every family battling childhood cancer.
Most of Tri Sig’s interactions with their THON family have been virtual due to the pandemic.
For the most part, their communication with the family is via text and email. Moreover, Tri Sig enjoys sending them pictures and presents for the holidays to remind that they’re by their side. The sorority hopes they will be able to see the family in person sometime this year for the first time in several years.
Last year during THON weekend 2022, Gowdy was on a THON committee as well as the Special Events chair for her sorority.
“It was a crazy weekend since I was on a committee and a chair for the sorority, so I was running all around the BJC, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Gowdy said. “It was awesome seeing everyone back and having fun together.”
This year for THON, Gowdy is most excited to be paired and working with the brothers of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Gamma Rho are a new pair this year, but Gowdy noted that everyone is already having a great time working together. Gowdy shared that their most recent fundraising efforts have been a success.
The goal of nearly every individual involved with THON is to not need to THON anymore, collectively, we as a student organization are hopeful that through our and other organizations efforts, one day a cure will be found. Gowdy has an undeniably strong passion and commitment for THON and loves to share this passion with the people around her. Gowdy THONs for more birthdays, tomorrows, and smiles.
Gowdy explains, “No family should ever need to decide between paying for their child’s treatment or paying their bills, and through THON, we help make that possible.”