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THON Director Thursday: Meet Family Relations Director Brittany Robbins

Name: Brittany Robbins

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee: Family Relations

Past THON Experience:

THON 2014 Morale Committee Member, THON 2015 Dancer Relations Committee Member, THON 2015 Club Cross Country Family Relations Chair, THON 2016 Club Cross Country Family Relations Chair, THON 2016 Family Relations Captain

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself:

I have this weird/crazy obsession with pokey sticks. I really take pride in the fact that I once ate an entire XL pokey sticks by myself in one sitting.

What made you want to apply for the Family Relations Director position for THON 2017?

I am the kind of person who is often not satisfied with what I do, because I am always striving to give more of my love and care to others in an impactful way. My passion to become a leader within the THON Community has enabled my desire to serve Four Diamonds families to reach new heights. Whenever I have the chance to speak with a Four Diamonds family, I truly feel my sense of purpose in life. With that, I wanted to provide these families who battle cancer everything I am capable of giving them during my time at Penn State and beyond.

What are your responsibilities as the Family Relations Director?

My overarching duty as the Family Relations Director is to oversee the involvement of all of Four Diamonds families during pre-THON and THON Weekend Events. I have the honor of being the liaison to Four Diamonds families and THON where I am in constant communication for logistical purposes, but more importantly to be their emotional support system day in and day out.

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

One of the biggest aspects of my position that I am working to implement is to bridge the communication gaps inside and outside of the Family Relations Committee. I am continuously brainstorming new and innovative ways for Family Relations Captains to better relay vital information to families and THON organizations. By conquering this, I believe that Four Diamonds families will feel the support they need from THON Volunteers so they can make memories that will last a lifetime.

What makes the Family Relations Committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

Family Relations truly is the spearhead of the emotional aspect behind THON. What makes the Family Relations Committee so unique is that the individuals who the THON Community fights for day in and day out, are the people who I work with directly. Our mission is to provide year-round support to Four Diamonds families by keeping them informed of the opportunities we offer to them before and during THON Weekend. It is such a blessing to be in the position that I am in because of the inspiring families who I am in touch with everyday.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2017?

My overarching goal is for Family Relations to make THON a safe, and happy place for all Four Diamonds families. By creating healthy ways for our families to interact with THON Volunteers, the events we put on will be all the more memorable and enjoyable for the kids.

Why do you THON?

I THON for the families who have touched my heart and life in ways I cannot even begin to express. I want to give the children who we fight for a reason to smile, laugh and simply just be a kid whenever I have to opportunity to do so. Above all, I THON for those who can’t. For the children who cannot attend THON due to illness, or the families who have lost their child, I do what I do to give them hope for more tomorrows.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory certainly was with the first Four Diamonds family I ever met. I am a member of Penn State Club Cross County where we are so fortunate to have adopted three Four Diamonds families in the last eight years. Our one family who decided to host my teammates and I during my first canning weekend, shared a scrapbook of pictures of when he was going through treatment at Hershey Medical Center. I was so touched by his positivity and inspiration, that I will never forget the stories and memories he expressed. He then ended up giving each of us a Four Diamonds necklace that I wear often to represent him and all the other THON families who have battled cancer.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

Does the Rex from Toy Story count? He’s my spirit animal.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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