The Official 2015 THON Weekend Dictionary
Welcome to Onward State’s official THON 2015 Dictionary! For those new to THON, or maybe those who simply seek a refresher, this is your comprehensive source to figuring out exactly what everyone’s talking about this upcoming weekend.
THON: The world’s largest student-run philanthropy.
For The Kids (FTK): An acronym of THON’s motto, “Helping to conquer childhood cancer, for the kids.”
Four Diamonds Fund: The official beneficiary of THON, a charity based out of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Bryce Jordan Center (BJC): The location of the 46-hour dance marathon.
#CancerCannot: THON 2015’s official social media hashtag.
Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital: The treatment location of THON children.
City of THON: State College’s name from 6 p.m. on Friday to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
THONward State: Onward State’s official THON account.
- Color Wars: A friendly competition where dancers are introduced to their moraler’s colors.
- Dancer Lottery: Where independent dancers and new organizations are selected after raising more than $2,800.
- Mini-THONs: Small THON events organized and held at high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.
- THON Raffle Sale: A series of ticket sales for amazing prizes, sold leading up to and throughout THON Weekend.
- Wigs for Kids: An organization partnered with THON to make wigs for children, for free, who have lost their hair — volunteers will donate their hair at an event sometime during the weekend.
(as explained in our comprehensive THON guide)
- Communications (COMM): Responsible for general questions and discussion between volunteers, visitors, and anyone in attendance.
- Donor and Alumni Relations (DAR): Builds relationships between the donors and THON itself, and provides tours to alumni and donors throughout the weekend.
- Dancer Relations (DR): Previously known as Morale, Dancer Relations will be found on the floor, each volunteer paired alongside a dancer, couple, or group in order to provide emotional and physical support.
- Entertainment (ENT): Responsible for the planning and execution of musical and live events throughout the weekend.
- Finance: Spends the weekend performing the crucial task of tracking all donations and working toward tallying the final total.
- Family Relations (FR): Primarily focuses upon the experiences of the Four Diamonds children and families, committed to their well-being and enjoyment.
- Hospitality (HOS): Often found on the floor, providing all of the meals and refreshments to the dancer and families, as well as stocking and serving all food outlets.
- Merchandise (MERCH): Organizes and sells THON gear and keepsakes throughout the weekend, manning the merchandise booths and assisting with purchases.
- OPPerations (OPP): Responsible for the logistical set-up, transformation, organization, cleanliness, and tear-down of THON weekend and the BJC.
- Public Relations (PR): The voice of THON, and is concerned with the portrayal of THON to the local, statewide, and national public.
- R&R (Event & Volunteer): Ensures the safety of two primary facets of THON: the environment of the event itself, and the internal involvement of those involved, primarily dancers and volunteers.
- Special Events (SE): Special Events, after planning many events leading up to THON weekend, SE will be focused on the THON Museum and the THON History Tour.
- Supply Logistics (SL): Keeps track of all in-kind donations made to THON, whether they be from small local business or larger corporations.
- Technology (TECH): Technology is involved with all aspects of THON’s technological side — particularly the PASS System, which is responsible for attendance onto the BJC floor.
- Canister Solicitation (Canning): The act of collecting money in specifically marked THON cans.
- Canvassing: A door-to-door fundraising effort.
- THONline: Emails volunteers can send to families and friends asking for donations.
- THONvelopes: Letters volunteers can send to families and friends asking for donations.
THON Organizational Leaders:
- Executive Director (1): Chairperson of all committees; also chooses the Executive Committee.
- Executive Committee (16): The 16 leaders of THON’s committees.
- Committees (15): Composed of students who plan and run THON events.
- Organizations (400+): Recognized Penn State organizations who choose to participate in THON.
- Captains (320): Chosen by the executive committee, captains assist in planning and fulfilling the THON mission.
- Committee Members (3,400): Led by captains, members help plan and attend THON events.
- Commonwealth Campuses: Branch campuses.
- General Organizations: A recognized Penn State club whose primary existence is not THON.
- Greek Organizations: An organization recognized by the Greek Councils of the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Multicultural Greek Council, and National Panhellenic Council.
- Independent Dancer Couples: Dancer pairs that are chosen from the Dancer Lottery.
- Special Interest Organizations: A recognized Penn State club that was founded specifically for THON.
- Special Mission: Any Penn State mission campus.
Names To Know:
- Charles and Irma Millard: Four Diamonds founders.
- Christopher Millard: The son of Charles and Irma who passed away from pediatric cancer — Chris is also responsible for writing a story that would inspire the name Four Diamonds.
- Megan Renaut: The executive director of THON 2015.
- Empower The Dreamers: 2015 theme
- Redefine The Possibilities: 2014 theme
- Inspire Tomorrow’s Miracles: 2013 theme
- Brighten Every Journey: 2012 theme
- Together Without Limits: 2011 theme
- Love Belongs Here: 2010 theme
THON Weekend Activities:
- Dancers Sit: 4 p.m. on Sunday, moments before the fundraising total is revealed.
- Family Hour: Every Four Diamonds family in attendance is recognized.
- Fashion Show: THON children in Penn State gear will strut down the runway.
- Final Four: The final four hours of THON (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Kids Mail Call: Four Diamonds children collect mail that the THON community has made for them.
Line Dance: A synchronized dance, done once an hour, and is taught to all dancers; it often draws on the year’s current events.
- Mail Call: Dancers receive letters and packages from friends and family.
- Pep Rally: A traditional pep rally, and the sports teams compete in dance routines.
- RIDE: A peaceful area for dancers to relax.
- THON History Tour: A 30-minute tour for dancers to ‘travel’ through past THONS.
- THON Salon: An area for dancers to get their hair washed and accessorized.
- Variety Show: A talent show starring the Four Diamonds kids.
We dance in one! And now you’ll hopefully be able to understand all things THON this weekend.
Photo: Dave Cole/Onward State
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About the Author
Brian Lewerke’s 25-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left sunk the Nittany Lions on Homecoming.
Now that you’ve had a full day to recover from the heartbreaking 21-17 loss to Michigan State, it’s time to relive the other, more successful parts of Homecoming weekend.
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