by Scott Katherine

Club Cross Country is a group not only dedicated to running, but also dedicated to raising money For the Kids®. They are centered around inclusivity and invite runners of all skill levels and backgrounds to join and compete in collegiate-level distance running. They even take part in a 46-hour treadmill marathon, Miles for Smiles, in which members take shifts to run for a time period equal to the length of THON™ Weekend. Their contributions to THON 2023 ranked them as the fourth highest fundraising general organization, and we are excited to see them out in full force at THON Weekend 2024. For January, Club Cross Country won a spotlight by having the highest number of new donors in the month!

To get a better idea of what being a part of Club Cross Country is like, we spoke with Primary THON Chair Dan Strobel. Strobel is a third-year student from Warrington, PA, studying mechanical engineering. His prior THON involvement includes being a Rules and Regulations Committee Member for THON 2023 as well as an active member of Club Cross Country’s efforts for the last two years. Look at some of his answers to our questions below:

What is special about your org’s THON efforts?

Strobel: “Club Cross Country’s THON efforts are very special because while we are a general organization, our THON efforts are one of the most important parts of the club. Without THON, Club Cross Country would not be the organization that it is. THON is not a separate part of the Club, rather an extension of everything the club stands for. This club is full of some of the most open-minded, respectful, and genuine people that I have ever met and that directly carries over into our THON efforts.”

What is your favorite THON memory?

Strobel: “My favorite THON memory every year has to be Miles for Smiles, Club Cross Country’s 46-hour treadmill marathon. This event really embodies what Club Cross Country and THON stand for all into one. So much hard work and dedication goes into the weekend and the energy that is felt, especially while our dancers are running during the final four hours, is truly special. It is where I met some of my best friends to this day and being able to continue the tradition and give that experience to new members of the team is priceless.”

What are you looking forward to most about being the Primary Chair for your org for THON 2024?

Strobel: “As Primary Chair for Club Cross Country, I am most looking forward to getting new members involved with our THON efforts and helping to spark their love for THON!”

Strobel also mentioned the three Four Diamonds families that Club Cross Country is paired with. The Kaufmans, the Potters, and the Morrisons have a huge impact on the club and motivate them to fundraise every day. When speaking about the families, Strobel said, “Justin Kaufman is one of our largest supporters and has been paired with Club XC for 14 years! The Potters are always on the move and sending us awesome videos of Corban and Jay dirt bike racing! We were also recently paired with the Morrison family and are really looking forward to meeting them THON Weekend!”

Strobel also spoke very highly of his fellow THON Chairs, emphasizing how important they are to the club’s efforts. The club has three other members that hold THON-related positions: Fundraising and Financing Chair, Emma Bauer; Family Relations Chair, Luke Connolly; and Donor and Alumni Relations Chair, Sofie Gordon. When asked about them, Strobel exclaimed, “It has been amazing being able to work with them this year and we really do help each other with everything. […] Without any one of them we would not be where we are this THON year!”

Club Cross Country’s THON Chairs for 2024. Courtesy of Dan Strobel

All in all, Club Cross Country is a group full of spectacular members who share both a passion for running and THON. We are thankful for all of their efforts, and we truly appreciate the time and dedication that it has taken to achieve them!

Featured Image: Courtesy of Dan Strobel