10 Questions With Megan Renaut: Post-THON Weekend
We caught up with THON 2015 Executive Director Megan Renaut to see how her year as the head of the executive committee went. After what was probably the busiest weekend of her life, Megan filled us in on her excitement, successes, and future plans to stay involved with THON.
Onward State: What were you most excited for leading in to THON Weekend?
Megan Renaut: I was most excited to get to watch the transformation of the BJC into THON’s home. It’s such an incredible experience to see the arena fill with so much excitement, color, music, and love in just a few short hours.
OS: You were super busy during THON – what’s the ED doing while the rest of us are enjoying THON Weekend?
MR: I was mostly on the event level throughout the weekend, helping with various situations and being a resource to directors and captains. I tried to be wherever I was needed, helping out wherever I could. I also made sure to take some time to take a step back and enjoy the weekend that so many students have worked so hard to create.
OS: What would you say was THON’s greatest success this weekend?
MR: THON volunteers took every opportunity to make this weekend something that we as students could give back to families. From Entertainment Captains DJing the event for the first time, to THON Captains coordinating video-chatting between dancers and Four Diamonds families who weren’t able to be there, our student volunteers used their different strengths to come together, making every little moment a big moment for the kids and families who get to forget about cancer for the weekend.
OS: Looking back over your year as Executive Director, what are you most proud of?
MR: I think I’m most proud of how the THON community has bonded together over the last year. As THON continues to grow, it sometimes feels difficult to make people continue to feel like they have the integral role in our organization that they truly do. But I think over the last year, I have watched thousands of students come together as one toward our common goal, and it enables every volunteer to truly feel the impact they are having.
OS: What was your favorite memory of THON 2015?
MR: My favorite moment of THON 2015 was when dancers stood at the beginning of the weekend. The energy in the arena was palpable, and everyone was ready to begin the celebration of our yearlong fundraising efforts with incredible enthusiasm. You don’t find that kind of passion many places, and I was so thankful to be looking out onto the crowd to witness it.
OS: So…I heard the ED has a t-shirt schedule for every THON Weekend. What’s that for, and how do you come up with it?
MR: I did have a t-shirt schedule! Captains also have schedules that ensure they can match other members of their captain committees and be recognized should someone on the floor or concourse need them for a particular reason. My shirt schedule allowed me to match the rest of executive committee when necessary, and at the other times, I got to wear some on-shift shirts from other committees. It was pretty fun!
OS: What changes do you anticipate being made for THON 2016?
MR: I am confident that the new leaders of this organization will continue to look into the future of THON and make decisions with the families at the forefront. But as for specific changes, I will leave them up to my successor and the executive committee that he or she selects. We put a lot of focus on bringing in new ideas and perspectives to THON each year, and I know 2016 will do just that!
OS: Your position is over now, right? What’s next?
MR: Actually my position isn’t quite over yet. We are opening our THON Store on March 16, so we are in the final planning stages for that project. It’s such an exciting time for THON, especially the Merchandise Committee. After the THON Store opens, I am responsible for picking the next Executive Director. It’s a fun process, and I’m excited to get started!
OS: Where do you think your THON involvement will go after graduation? Will we see you in the BJC 20 years from now?
MR: I’m pretty confident that if I can be there, I will be at THON. My involvement will change from an active volunteer to a supporter — supporting my successors, supporting future executive committees, and supporting the cause. I’ve truly learned how valuable it is to have a relationship with someone who has walked this journey before, and I can only hope to provide that to someone else.
OS: What dinosaur do you think THON would be and why?
MR: I think THON could be a brachiosaurus, because those are very large and peaceful. But I don’t know a lot of dinosaurs.