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“The Big Move”: Turning The BJC Into The THON Venue

Will Martin, Overall OPPerations Chairperson for THON 2012, is the guy making sure the Bryce Jordan Center is looking its best this weekend.

It all starts Wednesday night when Martin will pick up all the dancer and kids mail from the HUB-Robeson Center and deliver it outside the BJC in a trailer where it will remain until THON begins. The Morale Committee has been working hard to sort all the mail this week in order to have it ready for distribution THON weekend.

Thursday is “The Big Move,” which is when OPP will start transporting their materials to the BJC. Martin said, “We fill up storage units that Penn State provides for us to park outside the BJC Thursday night.” Although this move is from the HUB to the BJC, the term “The Big Move” originated in 2007 when THON moved from Rec Hall to the BJC.

The actual unloading of the trucks takes place at 4:45am on Friday morning. At this time, the Overall Committee will unload the storage units and begin set-up. Then, two to three hours later, other captains will begin to arrive and help assemble the BJC. Hospitality Committee will bring in supplies as other deliveries will begin to arrive throughout the morning.

“All captains will be in the building starting around 9am,” Martin said. Entertainment Committee is in charge of overseeing the stage, which will be assembled by a professional company. The diamond that will hang above it as well as the speakers that will pump out music for the dancers all weekend long.

One of the more time-consuming tasks is preparing the floor of the BJC. “Putting down flooring is probably our biggest task,” Martin said. Not only is the canvas put down atop the BJC floor, but underneath that are hundreds of puzzle-piece shaped mats that must be assembled for support on the dancer’s feet. OPP committee members are dedicated to completing this task, which will take up until the moment of THON to complete.

Martin oversees about 750 OPP members who all contribute to set-up for THON weekend. He also works with the BJC staff and keeps in contact with the Event and Contact Managers for the BJC to make sure all is on track. Right before THON, Martin and the Risk Management Officer of the BJC will do a run-through to make sure it meets health and safety regulations.

Once all is taken care off, the dancing can begin.

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