by Scott Katherine

As 2023 winds down, we enter one of the most generous times of the year. The THON™ Season of Giving begins on the 18th of December and runs until the 8th of January. There are many ways to contribute throughout this period, but THON volunteers are actively working to promote Planned Gifts, the Supply the Fight Initiative, and the Gift Card Initiative. Additionally, THON has been pushing to make Donors aware of the tax benefits that are available when donating as well as the opportunity to have their donation matched by their corporation! More information about all of these can be found on the Season of Giving page. Lastly, Apart from showcasing some great donation opportunities, we also like to highlight volunteers from all areas of the organization and thank them for their hard work. Being the world’s largest student run philanthropy is nothing to scoff at, and we are appreciative of every member that chooses to dedicate their time to our cause.

Andrew Maier is a senior and this is the third year he has been involved in THON. He spent the first two of them on the Technology Committee as a Captain, and this year he is serving as the Technology Director! Throughout his time on the committee, he is grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work with almost every other committee and form relationships with a bunch of extraordinary people. When we asked Andrew what THON meant to him, he replied that “THON is much more than a student organization I’ve been part of at Penn State. It’s taught me the incredible power of unity. Witnessing people from all corners of the world unite for a common purpose – to make a real difference in the lives of our families – has been awe-inspiring. Together, we’ve achieved amazing feats and shattered barriers that once seemed insurmountable. I’m immensely proud to be part of a community that exudes hope and positivity, not only in our direct work with families but also in the vital, behind-the-scenes efforts we undertake as volunteers.”

Andrew (left) at THON Weekend 2023

Colleen Kinkead is a third year who has spent her entire college career as a part of the Hospitality Committee. She was a Committee Member her first year, a Second in Command for her committee last year, and eventually the Hospitality Donor Relations Captain this year. She loves having the opportunity to run her own committee and working to bring them as close as possible throughout this year. To Colleen, “THON is a community of people with unconditional love, all coming together to fight for a cure.”

Colleen (left) learning she had been selected as a THON 2024 Hospitality Captain

Allison Savio is a fourth year who has had a large variety of THON experience over her Penn State tenure. She has served as both a Dancer Relations and Rules and Regulations Committee Member, a Primary THON Chair, and had the opportunity to dance at THON Weekend 2023! This year, she is a Second in Command for her Dancer Relations Committee! Through all of this, she has been consistently amazed at the willingness of college students to help people they have never even met. Allison also deeply treasures all the relationships that she has made over the last four years. When asked about the most rewarding part of her position, she said, “My position is absolutely amazing because I get to help build relationships between my co-committee members!  They are all such wonderful people and I love getting to know them and watching them build friendships with one another.  It is so rewarding to see them have fun together because these relationships can last a lifetime!  I still am good friends with one of my co-CMs from my freshman year committee and talk to a lot of people from my sophomore year committee frequently as well!  That’s what I want for my co-CMs to experience this year as well!”

Allison dancing at THON Weekend 2023

Aubrey Piacine is a senior who is the Primary THON Chair for Phi Gamma Nu this year. She has previously been involved in THON by being on a Dancer Relations Committee and a THON Committee in Phi Gamma Nu. Throughout this involvement, she has learned about the power of unity by seeing others continuously rally around each other time after time. When asked about the most rewarding part of her position, Aubrey said “the most rewarding part of my position has been being able to create relationships with our THON families. Having this opportunity has been one I cannot be more thankful for, and having the most amazing families to fight for has been so unbelievably rewarding.”

Aubrey (right) at THON Weekend 2023

THON is unbelievably thankful for anyone that makes any form of contribution towards our mission. Throughout the Season of Giving, we feel it is important to recognize all of the hard work, determination, and generosity we have received so far. As a final push for the year 2023, we encourage you to check out all the exciting opportunities to donate! Additionally, check out some of the other content on the THON Blog to learn more about what has gone on throughout this year! With your help, we are getting closer to one day dancing in celebration!

Header Photo: Sami Reilly