Inside The Envelope: THON 2016 Dancer Mail

Matt Zanellato’s dancer mail inspired us to seek out other words of encouragement sent to THON 2016’s dancers, and they did not disappoint. Support systems got creative, ensuring loved ones finished out their final hours in the BJC strong.

In no particular order, here are some of our favorite motivational letters that got this year’s dancers through 46 hours dancing For The Kids, no problem:

Atlas dancer Kate Robinson’s DRCM Rachel Holena surprised her with a letter from one of her favorite athletes — Sam Ficken.


Julia Fogg of Pillar got a batch of dancer mail from her sister’s fifth grade class. Apparently this isn’t Samira’s first rodeo.



Joshua Bram of Springfield received an adorable video from his own THON child. It doesn’t quite get more motivational than this:

Jessica Spellman danced for the Lionettes and the DRCMs in mail call said they’ve never seen something like the life-sized letter her family sent.


Craig Miller of the Engineering House explained the story behind his dancer mail.

“The Thursday before THON I received a notebook in the mail. This notebook had two purposes: First, it had inspirational words from my family (I did not read the majority of them until THON). The second purpose was to record the story of my THON experience for my mom who was diagnosed with cancer last November and could not be at THON because her chemotherapy made her too weak. I’m not going to lie, it was a little awkward to write notes during THON, but it was definitely worth doing for her,” he said. “Also, my sister and I have an inside joke where if either of us are going through a tough time we send each other Bobs Burgers stuff.”

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Bee House dancer Alex Lettieri received a drawing comprised of her favorite things, including her love of Disney.


One lucky lady — Jaclyn Gross of Pillar — received a literal potato.

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Think some of your dancer mail rivals these? Post a picture in the comments.

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About the Author

Sara Civian

Sara Civian is one of Onward State's three ridiculously good looking managing editors, a hockey writer at heart, and an Oxford comma Stan. She's a senior majoring in journalism, minoring in history, and living at Bill Pickle's Tap Room. Her favorite pastimes are telling people she's from Boston, watching the Bruins, and meticulously dissecting the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. She's seen Third Eye Blind live 14 times. If you really hate yourself, you can follow her at @SaraCivian or email her at [email protected].

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