by Ella Rubenstein

The Facilitation Preference group consists of OPPerations, Dancer Relations, Hospitality, and Rules & Regulations. These committees will carry out responsibilities, during pre-THON™ Weekend events and during THON Weekend, that will help with security, sustainability, and safety of all volunteers and attendees. 

OPPerations (OPP) – Anastasia Mitrovic

Those who are interested in collaborating with other committees and working behind the scenes to transform and maintain the BJC during THON Weekend can be a perfect fit for the OPPerations Committee. OPP’s main responsibility throughout the year is to create and sustain a safe and healthy environment at all pre-THON Weekend events and THON Weekend. Through logistical planning and hard work, OPPerations committee members are the first line of defense when maintaining the spark during THON weekend. 

“The OPPerations committee works hard logistically behind the scenes to help ensure the environment is a healthy and safe one for all families and volunteers attending. I enjoy working behind the scenes of events to help curate events that showcase the ideas of other committees and making those come to fruition. OPP truly embodies the Big Blue Family environment and values every single committee member and would not be the committee it would be without the passion and effort of every single CM. I love being part of a family within the THON community that showcases the drive to better the organization in a light that might not be as glamorous.” 

Photo: Dan Hadar

Dancer Relations (DR) – Jena Dehoff

Anyone passionate about the well-being of others and learning about the dancer experience during THON weekend should consider joining the Dancer Relations Committee. Dancer Relations works as the primary liaisons to ensure the safety, emotional, and physical support to every dancer during THON Weekend. In addition, throughout the year, DR committee members are trained and educated on the responsibilities of providing the best dancer experience. 

“Dancer Relations Committee Members serve as the liaisons to student volunteers selected to dance THON Weekend. These Committee Members ensure the safety and well-being of the dancers by receiving training and education on providing emotional and physical support to every dancer throughout THON Weekend.”

Photo: Sara Bobulinski

Hospitality (HOS) – Jake Arrogante & Emily Granito

If you are super passionate about food and sharing food with others, the Hospitality Committee is for you! HOS supports THON by coordinating with donors to procure, serve, and restock all food and beverage donations at pre-THON events and during THON Weekend. This committee also works with local restaurants, such as Playa Bowls and Roots, to create fundraisers that support our yearlong effort. During THON weekend, HOS Committee Members will work concessions at the BJC and serve meals to dancers, families, and volunteers. 

“Hospitality is special in the sense that its committee members get to see all aspects of THON. Hospitality committee members get to work behind the scenes during THON Weekend and Pre-THON events to feed families, children, spectators, volunteers, and dancers. Being able to interact directly with Four Diamonds Families and dancers on the floor during THON Weekend are two of the many rewarding and exciting parts of being a Hospitality committee member! These responsibilities include serving Dancer Meals, serving Family Meals, and even working concessions shifts in the Bryce Jordan Center to help Fuel The Fight — all in pursuit of a cure!”

Rules & Regulations (R&R)

Are you interested in providing a safe, secure, and well-coordinated THON? Then the Rules & and Regulations Committee could be the home for you! The Rules & Regulations Committee is split into two groups: Event Safety and Fundraising Safety. 

Event Safety (ES)Ryleigh Jozwiak, Parker Duffie, & Elijah Garcia

“R&R as a whole is an essential party to THON Weekend and all THON events throughout the year. Depending on the event we work different jobs more specifically behind the scenes. For example, at the THON 5K powered by PNC, we are tasked with supporting and staffing the race way to ensure all runners and walkers are being motivated and safe from any outside dangers. We have the special privilege of having security and pass leaders who are the second in command of each group and who are invited to an exclusive event called family carnival. They are tasked with securing different areas such as the hallways, scanning Orgs and Four Diamonds families in and out and sometimes even hanging with the families. Furthermore THON weekend is where we get to show our talents! We staff all areas of the BJC for example we scan Four Diamonds family and Org members on and off the event floor, and staff the upper bowl, concourse and event floor! You can interact with the different orgs while ensuring they follow the rules and in the event floor we sweep the expired passes off and you’ll have a chance to see the dancers and maybe even some families!” 

“Event safety is split up into security and pass, committee members on pass committees are tasked with learning and implementing THON’s pass system; a system designed for allowing spectators, organizations, and guests onto the event floor to visit and support THON’s dancers! Pass Committee Members will staff the pass zone, information booths, and floor check on/check off tables for the duration of THON Weekend.”

“For the security side of things, Committee Members on security committees will help staff and secure areas where security is needed throughout THON Weekend. They have a plethora of duties that include, but are not limited to scanning people in and out of the building, securing certain areas within the BJC, interacting with spectators, guests, and families, and making sure everyone is having fun while also being safe and following the rules.”

Fundraising Safety (FS) – Ansh Shah & Allie Grenoble

“Being a part of the R&R Fundraising Safety Committee has been a great experience. For those who don’t know, we are a resource for all of THON’s volunteers in facilitating safe and efficient fundraising. Getting to be with a group of people who are so passionate about THON’s mission while always giving it 100% has been a highlight of being at Penn State. We also get to work closely with the R&R Event Safety Committee, and during THON Weekend, we all work together to create a fun and safe environment in the Bryce Jordan Center all of THON Weekend. Joining the Big Red Family has been an amazing time.” – Ansh Shah

“The Rules & Regulations committee has been my home all 4 years here at Penn State. Joining my first Committee freshman year, I was unsure of what to expect, but I quickly learned about the community and the passion that each THON volunteer has. It made me even more excited to be involved in THON. R&R works to ensure that all THON and pre-THON events run smoothly in regard to fundraising and safety. As a committee member, I felt like I was really making an impact and making these events happen for the community and that was really important for me. There is nothing like looking around the packed Bryce Jordan Center knowing that the work you put in throughout the year and the work you are doing right then, made THON happen. Every day, every month, and every THON Weekend, we are so much closer to a cure for childhood cancer. Being involved in THON and specifically R&R has given me so many opportunities to give back to this community who has given me so much.” – Allie Grenoble

Photo: Sara Bobulinski

Cover photo credit to: Jacob Sparages