Where In The World Is Ohana?
The Friday of THON weekend is always a busy day. OPP members start setting up at the crack of dawn, people start lining up for Gate A access at noon, and dancers stand at 6 p.m. But one of the most stressful times for orgs on Friday afternoon is when they enter the BJC. After all, it’s a free-for-all to grab the prime spots to set up shop for the weekend.
Even though THON doesn’t assign particular sections to particular organizations, there’s a unspoken rule about where some orgs call home for the 46 hours. For example, Gamma Phi Beta and Acacia are always at the bottom of section 123. Atlas’ fuzzy pink hats call section 121 home. Up until this year, Ohana shared that section with Atlas.
However, Ohana isn’t there this year. There was a serious lack of fish hats dominating section 121 when the dancers first stood on Friday evening. That’s because Ohana’s traditional section was taken by the time they entered the Bryce Jordan Center.
Atlas noticed that their fellow interest org wasn’t by their side when they first entered the BJC. “When we got here, they weren’t even inside yet,” said Atlas member Maria Jose Viteri. When Ohana did in fact get inside the building, the Alpha Sigma Alpha and Lambda Chi Alpha pairing were standing in their traditional spot.
Although Ohana tried to negotiate with the Greek pairing, they couldn’t secure the entire section they normally used. Instead, more fifty members of the special interest org attempted to crowd into two rows. Eventually, those tight corners weren’t working for Ohana, so they were left with no other choice. “They gave up and moved,” Viteri said.
Ohana’s next home was far away from its traditional spot. The group moved up to the top lip of the BJC, to around section 222. There, they still dawned their iconic clown fish hats and held their letters.
But Ohana’s THON 2016 journey wasn’t quite over yet. Early Saturday morning, they noticed a vacancy on the mezzanine level of the BJC. Though not in section 121, the empty rows were much closer to the floor, and thus, their dancers. So Ohana moved down to 122, where a small silver of the section was open. “No one was there is the morning, so we moved down,” said Ohana Solicitation Chair Bobby Mullin.
It appears Ohana’s long journey to section 122 is over. Here’s hoping that the special interest org that raised more than $222,000 last year to fight pediatric cancer can keep on dancing together.
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About the Author
After a fundraising year that included no canning and banned events outside of State College, THON 2020 culminated with the announcement that $11,696,942.38 had been raised For The Kids.
“They were the anchor when we were lost, life vest when we were drowning, and our best catch on a glorious, sunny day.”
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