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Org Spotlight: Pillar

Despite its relatively short existence, special interest organization Pillar has certainly made an incredible impact on the THON landscape. Founded in 2008 by a group of friends in Tener Hall, Pillar now features more than 100 members and continues to stand by its mission to stand by those suffering from pediatric cancer and raise money to find a cure. We caught up with Alternative Funding chair Rick Jones to learn more about Pillar and why they dance FTK.

Year Founded: 2008

Dancers: 8; Jen Rossi, Matt Twinem, Daryanne Watkins, Kelly Ammon, Danielle Zegman, Zach Hannah, Brianna Blair, Steve Ciez

Executive Board Members: 11

Money Raised in 2014: $150,435.86

Colors: Purple and Yellow

Signature Sign: Individual signs to spell out PILLAR with the “P” cutout to look like a Roman pillar.

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Onward State: How many supporters are here for Pillar? 

Jones: I’d say we currently have 40-50 supporters in our section right now.

OS: As the Alternative Funding chair, what are fundraising events does Pillar hold throughout the year? Do you guys have any THON traditions? 

Jones: We obviously get a lot of money from canning and corporate contacts, but we also focus on other fundraising efforts. We do spaghetti dinners with our THON family, and we also sold Whiteout t-shirts to other special interest orgs for the pep rally. However, I’d say most of our fundraising comes from cash and canning. As for traditions, we all go to Chili’s for dinner the Thursday before THON starts.

OS: What are your opinions on this year’s line dance?

Jones: I like it, but it’s hard to compete with 2013’s line dance, which was my favorite line dance. However, I do like this year’s line dance better than last year’s.

OS: You’ve been at THON 2015 for a long time already. What are your tips for staying upbeat? 

Jones: Drink lots of water, bring tennis balls for entertainment, and make sure you have an extra pair of socks. You feel a lot better with a dry pair of socks! Also, it’s all about perspective. When you get into the music and dance along, you get into it and have a lot more fun.

OS: What is your favorite part of being the Alternative Funding Chair? 

Jones: I’d say my favorite part is creating fun hands-on fundraisers for our members. We have a lot of fun when we’re doing things like making and serving spaghetti while raising money. It’s a lot more immersive.

OS: Any information you want to relay to your dancers on the floor? 

Jones: Keep going strong, and we’re all proud of you!

About the Author

Greg Schlosser

Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State. He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports and sandwiches with coleslaw and french fries. You can email him at [email protected] or find him at the Phyrst drunkenly requesting the band to play "One Headlight."

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