by Scott Katherine

Written by: Bella Lennon, Paige Moore, & Sarah Neely

This year at the THON™ 5K powered by PNC, a new initiative made its debut. Inspired by Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, THON volunteers and supporters alike have begun to take part in an organization-wide trade of beaded friendship bracelets. The bracelets feature many THON related sayings and abbreviations, as well as names of different committees. At the front of this initiative is Crowd Entertainment Captain Martha McElligott, a third year from Pittsburgh who is a Taylor Swift fan herself. She started this initiative with the hopes of further uniting THON supporters by creating an alternative way to spread THON’s mission. Last Sunday, at the THON 5K powered by PNC, participants could visit a table covered in brightly colored bracelets displaying words and phrases all relating to THON. Those interested could make a bracelet to trade later while helping to raise money for the cause.  Already, Penn State campus streets are filled with students showing their support for THON on their wrists!  

Photo: Gracie Behr

Here are a few of Martha’s comments about her new initiative:  

What led you to create this initiative, and what is the initiative? 

Martha: “We started the THON bracelet training initiative kind of inspired by the whole Taylor Swift thing at her Eras Tour. We thought it’d be a fun way to unite everyone in THON, and hopefully by the end of THON Weekend everyone’s wrists will be covered in bracelets.” 

What do you hope to get out of this initiative?  

Martha: “I hope to just unite everyone in the fight and create a sense of community with everyone that can be traded and, you know, have some fun!” 

Where and how can you participate in this initiative? 

Martha: “Every Pre-THON event and every THON athletics event will have a THON bracelets table. People can come and trade or make bracelets, and people are also encouraged to make them at home and bring them to the events. “ 

How are you spreading this message?  

Martha: “We have a graphic that we’ve been sharing on social media, and I also have been encouraging my committee members and fellow co-captains to do it as well. We’ve got to get the word out by just talking about it!” 

This activity will continue to be available throughout the year at every event and will even be available to trade during the entirety of THON Weekend 2024. THON supporters are encouraged to make, buy, and trade bracelets throughout the year, helping to support the THON mission. This initiative is much bigger than just beaded bracelets, it’s a way to unite those who love and connect with the mission of THON and make a big organization feel a little bit smaller. The small impact that a bracelet might make on you, can have such a significant impact on the lives of the THON kids that are looking to trade as many bracelets as they can. 

Header Photo: Sami Reilly