THON Director Thursday: Meet Communications Director David Candito

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Believe it or not, it’s already that time again. Each week leading up to THON, we’ll introduce you to a new member of the THON 2018 Executive Committee.

These folks work year-round to ensure everything goes smoothly when the big weekend finally arrives. Our first installment of THON Director Thursday features Communications Director David Candito. We dance in 148!

Name: David Candito

Major: MAcc (Accounting/Finance)

Past THON Experience:

Freshman Year – Dancer Relations Committee Member

Sophomore Year – Dancer Relations Committee Member

Junior Year – Communications Captain: Greek Organization Liaison

Senior Year – Communications Captain: Organization Coordinator

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself:

I received my boater’s license when I was 10 years old. I am not sure how or why they let 10-year-olds drive boats by themselves at that time, but they did and I was extremely excited about it.

What made you want to apply for the Communications Director position for THON 2018?

Following my THON 2017 weekend experience, I couldn’t think of anything else that I wanted more than to have a chance to be a Director for THON 2018. I wanted to lead the 21 captains of the Communications Committee to push themselves to new limits and accomplish things they never thought they could for this wonderful organization. I have often been impressed by the individuals I meet through THON, particularly my Co-Captains, and all of the directors from the past two years. I learned so much from these individuals and can only hope they learned a fraction of what they all taught me.  Once I entered the BJC THON Weekend last year, I felt completely at home. I realized that this was exactly where I was supposed to be and this organization is where I belong. I wanted to put all my time and effort that I have left at Penn State into this organization and give back hopefully just a portion of what it has given me. An opportunity to leave THON better than I found it four years ago is something I have wanted for a while and I could not be more humbled by the chance to do that this year.

What are your responsibilities as the Communications Director?

As the Communications Director, I work alongside the rest of the Communications Captains to provide all THON Volunteers with the resources and information they need to make THON happen all year long. We work to educate and empower every THON volunteer on how they can make a greater impact in the fight against childhood cancer. It is my job to facilitate the 21 Communications Captains in their roles this year to help make THON run as efficiently as possible!

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

My goal for the Communications Committee this year is to enhance the level of education and knowledge all THON Volunteers have.  I want to implement a sense of passion and pride in each THON Volunteer to be knowledgeable about what our mission is and how we work to accomplish it each and every year. I hope to utilize what each director has done before me and taught me over the years to make impactful and sustainable changes for the future.

What makes the Communications committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

The Communications Committee is certainly all of the above things. I believe it is cool and fun because of all the opportunities to work with the different stakeholders of THON and get to know more about each one. We are truly important in connecting all of these individuals to our mission and ensuring that our mission of providing support for the kids and the families stays at the forefront of everyone’s minds!

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2018?

As I previously mentioned, my biggest goal is to enhance the level of education we have with all THON volunteers both at the committee member level and at the organization member level. I think we do a fairly good job at educating volunteers on what their specific role is throughout the year, however, we could do a better job at educating everyone on a holistic level. I would like to teach THON volunteers and demonstrate to everyone how we all do work together and how operating as a cohesive unit is so important for making each THON successful. For the Communications Committee in general I hope to foster a positive atmosphere that allows volunteers to truly enjoy volunteering and always remembering why we THON.

Why do you THON?

During my time as a THON Volunteer my reasons for why I THON have constantly evolved and developed into deeper meanings and more complex reasons. This is in part to many of the amazing families I have had the opportunity to meet over the years that truly inspire myself to do what I can for this organization. I have learned through this organization how truly blessed each of us are to be given the gift of life and that we do have the ability to make a big difference in this world. I THON for all those that are not as lucky as myself to be given the chance to live a “normal” and healthy life simply by pure chance. The impact THON has made on so many is remarkable, however this fight is not over and until we dance in celebration one day neither will be the work that each of us puts in to THON.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory would be during THON 2016 when I had the opportunity to dance and be on stage for an event during the weekend. I felt completely at home on that stage and could just feel the magic of the weekend engulf me. I knew truly how special this organization was in that moment and that we must continue to fight to bring more good to this world that THON does.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

I guess I would have to go with an Apatosaurus. I would want to be an Apatosaurus because that is the type of dinosaur my favorite character (Littlefoot) was in the Land Before Time movies. I was a big Land Before Time fan when I was younger.

Photo By: Meghan Maffey
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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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