by Scott Katherine

Written by Allison Brady, Sydney Breitkreutz, and Olivia Salupo

The annual THON™ Family Carnival took place on December 3, 2023. This event welcomes our Four Diamonds families with a carnival and the logo is revealed. Captains, Committee Members and other volunteers attend this event to bond with our Four Diamonds children and have some fun! The Special Events Committee organizes this event each year. We had the chance to speak to two captains, Gabrielle Lisanti and Ralph Lintelman, to learn more about the history of Family Carnival, the planning process and some other personal questions.  

THON 2024 Logo Reveal at the end of Family Carnival. Photo credit to Sami Isenberg

From the perspective of Gabby, Family Carnival is, “the main family focused event, 5K and 100 Days were the other pre-THON events before ours, that were mainly open to THON volunteers in general. This one is basically aimed for the Four Diamond families and organizations that are selected by us.” Ralph added that the goal is to “create a fun, enjoyable environment.”  

We asked the captains to describe the event and their roles. Gabby told us they “share the role together… and have been working on this since May. Over the summer, we mainly did a lot about the theme, a lot went into doing something different.” At the event, the logo was revealed, and the THON 2024 logo is “Conquer the Quest.”  Ralph added they “spent two or three months on the theme, another big part of it is the booths. We spent a long time sending out applications, reviewing applications, and selecting organizations … decoration and layout.”  

A lot of input and hard work from other committees, other than just Special Events, goes into the planning. Ralph was able to share that the next number one committee they work with is “Entertainment because they plan a lot of stage games and stuff for the crowd”, but it doesn’t stop there. He continued to say, “we work with OPPerations for the layout of Family Carnival, Supply Logistics gives us all our materials, so we work really close with them, and HOS for family meals, and Rules and Regulations for event security because it’s a closed event.” Family Carnival takes efforts from many committees to happen, and we are thankful for everyone who had taken part in the planning. 

Family Carnival is just one of the many events leadings up to THON that makes a difference in the lives of our Four Diamonds families. Each year, we hope to grow and continue the spirit of THON through events like this. Our hope is that our families never feel alone in their journey of childhood cancer. Family Carnival allows for THON’s efforts to directly impact the lives of many, and let our families know they are not alone in this fight. Because of the efforts of the Special Events Captains, Gabrielle Lisanti and Ralph Lintelman, and other Committee Members, Family Carnival was a success this year!  

Header Photo: credit to Jared Freed