by Ella Rubenstein

The Fundraising Preference Group consists of Finance, Merchandise, and Donor & Alumni Relations Committees. The mission of these committees is to ensure that THON™ is continuously able to provide financial support to our Four Diamonds families and funding for life saving research. These fundraising specialists help to maintain our generous donor base as well as facilitating the THON Store. 

Finance (FIN) – Matthew Silano

Have you ever wondered what committee is responsible for finalizing the THON Weekend total? Then look no further! The Finance Committee could be perfect for you! FIN’s main responsibility is upholding the integrity of THON by securely processing all monetary donations. Before THON Weekend, the Finance Committee keeps track of and organizes donations in order to prepare for the big reveal during Final Four.

“The Fin Fam” isn’t just our name. It’s a lifestyle. Repping the word “Finance” really means you are a part of a family. Whether it’s counting cash, rolling coins, or attending committee events, we all share one commonality. Working to raise money and count THON’s total.”

Photo: Sami Reilly

Merchandise (MERCH) – Izzy Oropeza

Picture this: You’re walking into the HUB on a Monday. You walk in and notice a store that has comfy apparel with super fun designs. A MERCH captain greats you and asks if you’re interested in becoming a MERCH Committee Member! While you look around the store and see captains folding shirts, you wonder if this is something that MERCH CMs do. This committee is looking like the home you’ve been looking for!

“MERCH is made up of 20 captains and our MERCH Director, Anna Yankanich. MERCH Captains have different responsibilities such as promoting the THON Store and merchandise on social media, producing new designs and logos for THON event merchandise, as well as creating general THON merchandise throughout the year. We have captains who keep track of all the orders from sending them out to packaging them, we also have captains that help our website run smoothly, and captains who lead committees who also keep track of inventory.  We work to make sure THON merchandise is available to those here at Penn State, those not at Penn State, and definitely everyone on THON Weekend.

There are two committees made up of CMs and our CMs are responsible with staffing the THON Store year round, helping keep track of inventory, and promoting/selling THON merchandise at all THON events and all of THON Weekend.

I am a Social Media Coordinator MERCH Captain. In this position I get to combine my passions for THON and social media to bring awareness to not only THON but all of the THON community. This is my first time being part of the Merch Committee but I already am in love with my co-captains and Anna. We’ve become so close, from spending time at the THON store but also hanging out and having dinner together. I think what makes MERCH stand out is how we get to work together all year round and we’re in the THON store together every week. It is an exciting thing to be part of the MERCH squad.”

Photo: Kiley Canimore

Donor & Alumni Relations (DAR)

Anyone interested in support and strengthening THON’s relationship with alumni around the world would be a great fit for the Donor & Alumni Relations Committee. DAR is separated into two committees: Alumni Engagement and Development.

Alumni Engagement (AE) – Matthew Dougherty

“What makes Alumni Engagement so special is that we can dream big and see our ideas come to life. We foster new events and campaigns that connect our Alumni to our mission and directly see the importance of this connection. Being able to connect with our community around the world, and hear their stories, fuels the need to continually do more for our mission. Every THON Weekend is special, but I am most excited to see our Four Diamonds families truly enjoy themselves and to see the connection THON creates in the community. Within DAR, Alumni Engagement focuses on engaging our alumni around the world by sponsoring events, campaigns, and initiatives allowing our Alumni to interact with THON. Development focuses on creating, strengthening, and stewarding all of THON’s donors’ recognition and involvement and building awareness of the mission worldwide.”

Development (DEV) – Sidney Cohen

“Being on DAR Development is so special because you truly get to see the impact of your work reflected on the total fundraised for THON. We send a lot of THON messages to donors, educating them on THON’s mission, sharing different family stories, and encouraging them to donate. We love rocking our DAR blue while we foster relationships with donors and spread awareness!”

Photo: Cady Barcak

Cover photo credit to: Jacob Sparages