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Org Spotlight: Boulevard’s Chair On Why They THON

Despite coming to fruition only four short years ago, Boulevard has rapidly grown into both a successful and popular organization within the THON community. I was able to talk to their THON chair, senior petroleum and natural gas engineer Lauren Popko, about her organization’s involvement in THON, and what it truly means to be FTK.

Fun Facts About Boulevard: 

Funds Raised: $70,000
Year Founded At Penn State: 2011
THON Families: The Clousers and the Splawns
Number Of Dancers: Five

Onward State: How did you initially get involved with THON?
Lauren Popko, THON Chair and Boulevard Vice President: My sophomore year I was a member of the org, and then my junior year I danced while also serving as Boulevard’s secretary. I happened to dance with our THON chair at the time, and I just felt like I had to do something the next year, so I applied for the THON chair/Vice President position.

OS: Why does Boulevard THON, and why are you involved?
LP: Well, we’re actually a community service organization and a THON organization, so our whole premise is to really help out our community and help out those around us, and THON is a perfect way to get involved with that. So we obviously THON for both our families, while the whole outlook of Boulevard is that there’s a boulevard in every community, so we want to be active in every community. Everyone knows someone with cancer, so this is a way for us to kind of give back and lend a helping hand to everyone.

OS: What do you personally get out of THON?
LP: Personally, THON has been my entire Penn State experience. We work so hard all year long, and this is only our fourth THON, so we’re still very young. I mean, we went from two dancers in our first THON to five dancers in this THON, so we really grasp it and we’ve just kind of rolled with it. It’s been really awesome to see how all of our younger new members–we have a lot of freshmen–have jumped on and latched onto THON as much as we all have.

OS: What are your thoughts on this year’s line dance?
LP: I love it! It’s great, and I’m very happy that I’m in the stands learning it this year because last year I danced, and couldn’t remember any of it! The chorus is awesome, and it gets me really pumped up.

OS: Does Boulevard do anything special for its dancers to help get them ready for their dancing experience?
LP: Our dancers this year sat down with last year’s dancers, and just talked with them. This year, we actually made them a little booklet of advice from all of the past dancers from our entire organization, so that was pretty awesome. We have different committees, including a dancer appreciation committee that’s in charge of getting them all of the fun stuff, making them capes, putting stuff in their lockers, and things like that.

OS: Being an alum next year, what are you looking for Boulevard to do leading up to next year’s THON?
LP: I’m just excited to see what we started move forward, because everybody that’s graduating this year started four years ago as freshmen, so in a sense, the core is leaving. I know that we’ll keep getting bigger and keep being a presence at THON.

About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]

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