After a THON 2016 that saw special interest org Ohana lose its traditional home, forced to move to the upper decks of the Bryce Jordan Center and eventually the top of section 122, the fish hats are back populating section 121.
Having gotten inside the building a bit late in 2016 and away from its prime spot dating back to its inception in 2008, Ohana made it its mission to not let last year’s struggles entering the BJC play out again according to logistics chair and acting president Tyler Keefe.
“We just really emphasized to our members that we really need you so we can get our spot,” Keefe said. “We brought up [last year]multiple times as a selling point like ‘guys we really need you to be there.'”
It helped to have a better better timing window for the entrance plan for this THON, but with that stress now in the past, Ohana can finally focus on its dancers and THON families, as well as enjoying the events like the pep rally or band performances that come up during the 46 hours.
With a solid core of returning freshmen and sophomore members from last year, Ohana welcomed even more members this year that were brought into the 10 different families. For Keefe, it’s the meaning of Ohana, “family,” that really brings in and engrains these new members — the same way it brought him in during his first year on campus.
“I look at it from my freshman year, I met all my best friends through [Ohana],” Keefe said. “It’s just an org that welcomes you in and surrounds you with goodness.”
This group will be supporting seven dancers — Rob Beck, Nick Kweder, Claire Pomorski, Emily Spor, Chris Depman, Jenna Richardson, and Nikki Maginnis.
Ohana’s dancers were selected through an application and interview process for the opportunity on the floor. Having made it through to be chosen, the lucky seven have the backing of the entire organization as they all embark on the journey ahead.
“We try to show that we’re there 100% for them,” Keefe said. “We have a few different cutouts of them. We have different things designed specifically for them, and then throughout the weekend we have little gifts that we give our dancers when they’re feeling down to show that support.”
Back home in 121, Ohana is closer to its dancers, ready to support them and continue its mantra of “family” through the 46 hours.