Written By: Brooke Richetelli and Mary Marzula
As THON Weekend approaches, many organizations are preparing for the weekend’s festivities. Hanna Ostrosky, THON Chair for Volé, a dance organization at Penn State, is super excited for THON Weekend.
Why do you THON™?
I started volunteering within the pediatric cancer community when I was in high school. I worked with an organization called Angel 34, and it was there that I learned the impact that volunteers can have on families. Throughout my entire time working with that organization, all of the families were of course appreciative of the monetary support we supplied; however, they were even more appreciative of the connection and support that they developed with our volunteers. It never mattered what present or amount of money we gave a family, they always prioritized spending time with us. I THON because I have seen how the connections we make as THON volunteers makes a difference in our family’s lives, and I THON because I want to do anything within my power to have a positive impact.
How do you connect with THON?
My organization’s two families are a driving force in my connection to THON. I also had a friend from high school who was extremely passionate about being involved with THON. She unfortunately passed away before she could finish up with her involvement. When I get stressed about my workload with THON, her memory definitely reminds me of why I want to be involved and keeps me grounded in my volunteer efforts.
What does your relationship with your families look like?
Our relationship with our families is amazing!!! They are the reason why we all do what we do. We are in contact with both families every week, if not multiple times a week, and often spend long hours talking and de-stressing together. We try to see each other as much as possible, and whenever we do, we seriously have the best time. We were just with both of our families this past weekend and I already can’t wait to see them again.
What kind of events do you do with your families?
Every year we like to host a Family Celebration event, in which both families come up to State College and we spend a weekend doing various activities. This is something that they always look forward to. Activities during this weekend have ranged from board games to pottery to bowling, etc. As the kids grow up and have different interests, we have adopted a few different activities. Most recently, we went camping with one of our families, and have attended a silks aerial class with our other family!
What kind of fundraisers does Volé do for THON?
Volé has a variety of fundraisers typically for THON. We are paired with Alpha Sigma Phi and host the majority of our fundraisers with them. This year so far, our two big fundraisers have been a trivia night and a tote bag painting night.
Is there a lot of participation from Volé members?
I have been pretty happy with Volé’s participation this year! Sometimes it can be hard since we are such a large organization. Most members are involved with other clubs outside of Volé, and might fundraise for THON through a different organization. So, even though we are so big, it doesn’t always guarantee insane levels of participation. But, with that being said, I have been happy with our fundraiser turnout and especially happy with our turnout for our family events!!
Are there any upcoming events that Vole is doing in the next few weeks or in the beginning of next semester?
We are getting ready to do a big game of tag as our next fundraiser. Essentially, everyone that wants to participate is going to get assigned a “target” to tag out, and we will keep doing elimination rounds until there’s one person left. Members of both organizations seem pretty excited to get started, so we are feeling very optimistic for this fundraiser!