As a part of Onward State’s commitment to help establish more immediate access to THON to the Penn State community, of which THON is such a huge part, I have conducted a series of interviews with the each of the 2011-2012 overalls. These are the students who have taken the initiative to lead this organization, so may we all take a moment to learn from their words, and help implement their ideas into our continued fight against pediatric cancer.
Onward State: Summarize some of the responsibilities of the Supply Logistics Committee, and then the role you play as the Overall within those responsibilities.
Pat Howley: As Supply Logistics, we are responsible for acquiring all of THON’s in-kind donations that are not food. That’s anything from arts, crafts and fabric; to paint, hardware, and lumber; to toys, games, sporting games, and so on. We are also in charge of the THON raffle, as well as all of THON’s printing needs, so getting anything printed like pamphlets or folders.
As the Overall, I had to do a lot of printing before captains were selected. Anything like the corporate packet, which is what we give all of our donors, and THON Chair pamphlets. From there, it’s mostly maintaining some of the larger relationships, and overseeing the captains as they call different companies around Pennsylvania to try to get all of our supplies donated.
OS: What made you want to take on the position of Overall of the Supply Logistics Committee?
PH: Actually, my first choice was Hospitality, and my second choice was Public Relations. I didn’t really know what to put third, but figured since I knew the donor side of things, I would put Supply Logistics. I knew I wanted to be on the Overall Committee because, and I’m sure you have heard it, once you are in THON, each year you just want to give more and more. I had my interview, and got the position for Supply Logistics. It’s been awesome ever since then. It really gives you a whole new outlook of where all these products that THON uses, and makes THON so successful.
OS: What are you looking to change/do differently this year with the Supply Logistics Committee to help improve it?
PH: One of my biggest goals for this year is getting Supply Logistics out in the community more. Two years ago, I didn’t know what Supply Logistics was. It’s a very small committee. We only have 21 captains, and that’s it. By spreading awareness of SL, committee members will understand why they shouldn’t waste paint or other products. There is a lot of work put into getting all of these things donated, and I know I didn’t understand it from a committee member point of view. And this way, products like paint can be saved, and we don’t need to get twice as much every year.
OS: What moment or moments are you most looking forward to during this upcoming THON year? Be as specific or vague as you want.
PH: One of the things I’m really excited for is seeing all of my captain’s grow throughout the year. None of them have ever been on Supply Logistics before, so between the 21 of them and me, not a single one of us has had Supply Logistics experience. I think this will bring a lot of new ideas to the committee. While a good bit of them may not have even put Supply Logistics on their captain applications, but seeing how excited they have gotten, and how much they have already honed their positions, I can’t wait until they all see the culmination of all their efforts on THON Weekend.
OS: Why do you THON?
PH: I didn’t know what THON was until my sophomore year. I spent my first two years at Penn State Erie, and had a little bit about THON. I came to visit the main campus during the weekend of THON Weekend to visit my girlfriend. I had no intentions of stepping foot in the BJC whatsoever. However, like everyone will tell you, the moment I stepped foot in the BJC, it changed me. Went in on Friday night, and came back on Saturday morning, and me a group of friends decided that if these dancers can be here 46 hours on their feet, then we’d stay here for the rest of the time. We stood in section 123 for about the last 30 hours. I also was wearing my work boots at the time, which I learned was a bad idea.
Seeing THON for the first time that weekend, I knew that when I transferred to University Park for my major I wanted to get involved.
OS: Name an event or two that you think will make this year’s line dance.
PH: The earthquake. The little, 6-second earthquake that shook State College will live on in infamy. Maybe the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Hopefully the Pirates clinching their 19th straight losing season doesn’t make it in there, as a Pittsburgh fan. THON’s 40th anniversary, obviously.
OS: Finally, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be, and why?
PH: I’d probably be a Velociraptor. Or maybe one of those tiny dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. I’m not sure what they’re called, but I would be one of those because I am a big guy, and it would be cool to be one of those quick, little dinosaurs, just going crazy, running all over the place.
If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to check out the previous installments of the Overall Series: Special Events, Public Relations, Technology & Communications, as well as my 10 questions with THON Overall Elaine Tanella. Also, catch up on the rest of the recent THON content: THON 2012 Theme, Overall Life Lessons, 2011 Summary of Fundraising Activities, Canning Map Weekend #1, Canning “Do”s & “Don’t”s, New to THON.