by Scott Katherine

Written by Ani Ganesan, Olivia Salupo, and Lily Persio 

THON™ Weekend, the 46-hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon, is now less than 3 weeks away! All pre-THON Weekend events have recently concluded with the THON Showcase on Sunday, January 21. The THON 5K powered by PNC, 100 Days ‘til THON, Family Carnival, and THON Showcase were all very successful pre-THON events that took place this year. These events are primarily arranged by Special Events captains with each captain’s position revolving around the planning and organizing of them. 

With that being said, we wanted to take this opportunity to interview one of the captains who has played a crucial part in orchestrating these events. We had the chance to speak with Special Events Captain, Adam Tanabe, to learn about his roles and responsibilities as a THON Volunteer.  

Tanabe is a 2nd year student from Pittsburgh, PA pursuing a degree in finance. When he’s not spending his time volunteering for THON, he enjoys playing and watching sports, staying active, and having a great time with his friends. In Tanabe’s words, “My position is that I, along with my fantastic co-captain Erika Long, are responsible for the Closer to a Cure Celebration (CCC). CCC is an event held post-THON Weekend to commemorate outstanding volunteers and donors, and to celebrate the year-long efforts of everyone in the community”. The CCC is very important to the THON organization because after all, each THON campaign truly brings us closer to a cure and that is without a doubt something to celebrate.  

Tanabe went on to tell us that, “All pre-THON Weekend events are fantastic and are run by some of the best people I know. Whether it be the THON 5K, 100 Days ‘til THON, or THON Showcase, having the opportunity to witness the work and effort put in to create such great events is a privilege.” Additionally, he said his favorite THON event would have to be Family Carnival due to the interactions of different organizations, committees, families, and most importantly the kids. His favorite part of this year’s family carnival would have to have been the THON Logo Reveal.  

THON Weekend 2024 is approaching quickly leaving all volunteers, donors, and students with so much to be excited about. If Tanabe had to pick one thing to look forward to the most it would be “the energy.” He takes great pride in the tens of thousands of students who come out to support dancers and families and acknowledges the uniqueness of this amazing 46 hour dance marathon. Furthermore, he hopes that every Penn State student gets to experience the unbelievable feeling of walking into the Bryce Jordan Center for the first time on THON Weekend.  

As previously mentioned, Tanabe is a second year student who will have two more THON campaigns left after the conclusion of THON 2024. With that being said, he has plenty of goals for his future in the THON Community including continuing his efforts towards being a captain and possibly being a director one day. He left us with this heartwarming last thought, “But when I leave Penn State, I will not leave THON. I hope to continue to support THON as an alumni in any way I can. I hope that one day in my lifetime we will not have to dance because our mission to cure childhood cancer will be successful.”  

Special Events Captains and Committee Members play a large part in the fundraising component of our organization. The events they plan are a critical component of THON and we truly appreciate their hard work and year-long efforts, For The Kids®. 

Featured Image: Lyndsay Surkosky | THON™ Photography