Meet the THON 2014 Directors: Dom Mirabile, Donor & Alumni Relations Director
With THON season in full swing, we conducted a series of interviews with each member of the THON 2014 Executive Committee in order to better connect the Penn State community with the leaders of the largest student run philanthropy in the world. This week features Donor & Alumni Relations Director Dom Mirabile.
Dom Mirabile, Donor & Alumni Relations Director
Current Year: Junior
Major/Minor: Electrical Engineering
Fun Fact: Halloween is my favorite holiday. I won my Halloween costume competition almost every year in grade school.
Onward State: Why did you apply to be a part of the Executive Committee for THON 2014?
Dom Mirabile: I think it goes back to when I look at THON, and I see so many people giving up their personalities and their skills and their experiences to something much greater than themselves. I started as a moraler and I realized I wanted to give more of myself for the betterment of THON, so I looked at what skills I had and where I could contribute and I really found that DAR was something that I loved to do. I love to spread awareness about THON and create relationships with donors and I wanted to further that and help THON continue to grow.
OS: Summarize some of the responsibilities of the Donor & Alumni Relations Committee, and then the role you play as Director within those responsibilities.
DM: DAR handles all monetary company sponsors, so we have relationships with over 2,600 company sponsors. We also play a large part in helping organizations fundraise effectively, so while Communications is their liaison with everything like deadlines and applications and things like that, we kind of provide advice and resources for them to continue to reach their fundraising goals. We also interact with alumni and launch alumni campaigns to keep them involved in the fight against pediatric cancer. My role is kind of managing those three responsibilities, and I interact with our largest company sponsors and maintain those relationships. I also work with the university a lot with sending out appeals and official campaigns and I also work on general fundraising things such as making sure that THONvelopes happen each year and benefitting donors and things like that.
OS: What are your overall goals for this year? What are you looking to change and improve to make the DAR Committee the best it can be?
DM: What I did this year was rearrange the captain committees so that there are teams that focus on the three major areas of DAR, and they’re held accountable for growing each of those areas. I also wanted there to be a larger focus on all DAR. We have 130 committee members, so I wanted to involve them more in our day to day activities. I think DAR is a very growth focused committee; we’re always looking to expand the donor base and make a lot of people feel like they’re part of the THON family. What I’d like to do differently this year is to improve and create new relationships with THON’s donors, both companies, alumni, and organizations.
OS: What moment or moments are you most looking forward to during the upcoming THON year? Be as specific or vague as you’d like.
DM: I think what I’m most looking forward to is when we first set foot into the BJC and we just get that feeling that this is where THON 2014 is going to happen, this building is about to be full. I’m really looking forward to being the first ones in there and to kind of start creating the magic of THON weekend and continue a legacy that’s happened for almost four decades.
OS: Why do you THON?
DM: I THON because I am blown away by what we’ve achieved as an organization over the past forty some years. I think that it’s probably one of the purest examples of what can happen when a group of people comes together and they give up themselves to a larger cause. I think the biggest reason why I think THON is special and why I want to participate is because we are having a very real impact on the fight against pediatric cancer. The Executive Committee had a tour of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital over the summer and you can see all the amazing things happening there and it’s really the result of tens of thousands of people who are joining this fight. In my mind, the real reason why I THON — I can’t say that I thought this when I first got involved, but now definitely — is that I think there will be a day when all pediatric cancer is curable, and to say that I had a part in that is something very special and very powerful.
OS: Name an event or two that you think will make the line dance this year.
DM: Definitely something about Pegula opening, because that’s a big deal. Maybe something about redoing the Lion Shrine, because that looks great.
OS: If you could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?
DM: I think I’d be a pterodactyl, I’ve always wanted to fly.