by Scott Katherine

Written by: Abby Burton, Ryan Murphy, and Matt Thierer

FOTO is a special interest organization whose sole purpose is to support THON™ and they are made up of roughly 200 members. As they are preparing for THON Weekend, we’ve interviewed two FOTO members and talked to them about their goals, their motto for the organization, and the different THON Events FOTO has participated in. They also shared different ways FOTO has raised money and how the relationship between their 6 dancers grows stronger throughout the 46-hours.

We interviewed two members, Emmett Petterson and Joey Scannpieco, from FOTO. FOTO is one of the many THON Organizations that have the goal of raising as much money as possible for families suffering from childhood cancer. According to Emmett, their organization mainly helps “four families” paired with FOTO, and the members get to be with the families “at least once a month” where they “do a lot of events with the kids”. The motto for the organization is “FOTO is family”. One of the biggest goals of the organization, according to Joey, is to “keep the families involved and make sure they’re having a good time with the members so that the kids can feel happy and to get their minds off of all that they are going through.” The organization also has some members who will be dancers during THON Weekend. According to Emmett and Joey, there are six dancers who have been very busy throughout the leadup to the weekend. The dancers “do a lot together to get closer as friends so that it is easier to get through the full 46-hours.” FOTO has done different things to raise money such as “placing donation boxes around in different companies, bake sales, ribbon sales, and reaching out to different companies to have a certain percentage of their profits donated.” The organization’s leaders have incentives for members if they raise a certain amount of money to raise motivation amongst the group. FOTO has also participated in different THON events such as the annual Family Carnival and the THON 5K powered by PNC where they walked with their designated families. To end off the interview, Emmett and Joey mentioned that FOTO is “always recruiting new members no matter the time of year and encourages whoever is interested to join!”

FOTO, a THON Organization, is fervently dedicated to supporting families affected by childhood cancer. Through interviews with Emmett Petterson and Joey Scannpieco, the organization’s commitment to its motto, “FOTO is family,” becomes evident. Their primary goal is to bring joy and relief to four paired families, engaging in monthly events with the children. The six dancers gearing up for THON Weekend exemplify a tight-knit community, fostering friendships to endure the demanding 46-hour event. As they actively recruit new members year-round, FOTO stands as a beacon of compassion and unity in the fight against childhood cancer.

Featured Image: Courtesy of