by Scott Katherine

To most students starting their THON™ journey this year, THON Weekend 2016 took place before they had even entered high school. This may seem crazy to think about, but for one pair of students the year-long effort was one to remember. Cindy, a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, had chosen to take on the responsibility of being the Overall THON Chair for her organization. Sam, a member of Kappa Sigma, held the same role for his organization. Since these two organizations had been paired for several years before the arrival of Cindy and Sam, it meant that they would be working closely together to coordinate events and fundraising efforts throughout the year.

After speaking with the couple, they singled out one fall weekend as the unofficial start of their relationship. This weekend had been designated specifically for canning, a huge fundraising effort. Constant communication between the two was a necessity to keep all operations running smoothly. At the end of the weekend, members of both organizations gathered to count the money that was raised. This was the last of many opportunities the two had to spend time together over the course of the weekend. Once the counting was finished, it was revealed that the weekend was a huge success, setting an organization record for a single canning weekend. When thinking back on that weekend and the subtle beginning of their relationship, Cindy commented, “We had this awesome thing in common that we were both so excited about.” Clearly, a bond had been formed.

That December, things started to speed up. The two organizations hosted another joint THON fundraising event in the form of a date auction. With this being the first time that the two organizations had ever held a fundraiser of this variety, Cindy and Sam were nervous about how everything would unfold. So, to ensure that things would not be awkward, the two made a pact in advance to bid on each other. After winning his bid on Cindy, Sam took her out to the Allen Street Grille, and as Cindy says, “the rest is history”.

Cindy and Sam at THON Weekend

Fast forward almost seven years and the two are set to be married at the end of September 2023. The wedding will be officiated by Joan Tafel, the mother of the Four Diamonds child that was paired with Gamma Sigma Sigma throughout Cindy’s tenure as a member. When asked about this, Cindy explained that she “became very close with everyone in the family”. Apart from Cindy and Sam’s relationship, this is another amazing example of the bonds that can be formed through participation in THON.

Photo: Erin Wheat Co.

Cindy and Sam have such a passion for THON that instead of purchasing wedding favors, they decided to donate to our cause instead. Additionally, each table at the wedding will feature a QR code with a direct link to the THON webpage, where guests can learn more about our organization. The primary goal of this being to spread THON’s mission as far as they can. When commenting on this idea, Cindy enthusiastically stated, “I’m excited for other people to get to learn about it, because that really was the foundation of how we met!”