THON Overall Series: Becky Mayes, Special Events
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 Special Events Committee, and then the role you play as the Overall within those responsibilities.
Becky Mayes: So, the Special Events Committee oversees the events that make THON a full-year effort. We make sure that families and the children are receiving year-long support, as well as year-long fundraising efforts. There are a variety of events, beginning with the THON 5K, and ending with THON Weekend. Within that is the Family Carnival, Road to THON, THON Idol, hair donation, and the THON Treasure Hunt. We essentially work with all of the other committees in making sure that the events are the best that they possibly can be, for the children, for the families, and for all of the volunteers.
As the Overall, I make sure that all of the logistics of the events are running smoothly and making sure all committee members understand their responsibilities. I work with a lot of people within the University, seeing as all of the events that I oversee take place on campus, to make sure everything is planned accordingly.
OS: What made you want to take on the position of Overall of the Special Events Committee?
BM: I really just wanted to do as much as I could. I’m a very logistically driven person, and I felt that that skill best suited this position. This cause is something I truly believe in, and will continue to fight for after I leave Penn State.
OS: What are you looking to change/do differently this year with the Special Events Committee to help improve it?
BM: This year I changed the captain structure of Special Events. We have 19 captains this year, and had 23 last year. It seems like a large decrease, but I just restructured the captains’ responsibilities because I want to make sure each of them has the same experience throughout the year. I want them all to feel very engaged.
I also plan to really spread that THON is a year-long event. When a lot of people think of THON, they just think of THON Weekend. THON is every day, not just a 46-hour dance marathon. It is every day of every year, until we find a cure.
OS: What moment or moments are you most looking forward to during this upcoming THON year? Be as specific or vague as you want.
BM: The first big milestone I am looking forward to is when all of the runners are signed up, and have numbers for the THON 5K. At about 10:50 p.m. on October 23, I will be taking this huge sigh of relief, when I know that it’s actually going to happen.
Other than that, just helping to get everyone involved with every event throughout THON this year.
OS: Why do you THON?
BM: I THON to give children a future. One of my friends from high school, that I have known from a long time, she was diagnosed with cancer before she got to kindergarten, and she was taken care of by The Four Diamonds Fund, Hershey, and THON. I didn’t know this until I started planning a mini-THON at my high school. I just knew her as my friend that was healthy, energetic, and outgoing, and little did I know that about ten years beforehand, she was battling for her life. Just knowing that she was given a future because of what students at Penn State do, really made me want to be a big part of THON. To make sure that one day we do find a cure, and until then we make sure we give these children the best possible shot at living a normal life.
OS: Name an event or two that you think will make this year’s line dance.
BM: The earthquake. That will definitely be in it. Definitely the new children’s hospital really getting under way, and finishing up for fall 2012. That will be extremely exciting. Maybe the flooding in Hershey?
OS: I heard that some wolves from Zoo America went missing or something. I’m not sure, but I like to imagine a pack of wolves, roaming around, doing whatever they want.
BM: You walk out your door, and there’s a wolf in your yard. “I guess I’m going to have to walk around that.”
OS: Finally, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be, and why?
BM: What was that one from Land Before Time?
OS: Little Foot?
BM: No, the girl.
BM: Yeah, Cera! What was she again?
OS: I think she is a Triceratops.
BM: I don’t think so…
OS: Are you sure? [looks up answer]
BM: Whatever she is, I will be. I love those movies, but parts of them terrified me. I’m not going to lie.
OS: I know, especially the first one. And she is a Triceratops!
BM: Alright, well then I will be a young Triceratops.
If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to check out the previous installments of the Overall Series: 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.