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THON Director Thursday: Meet Special Events Director Peter Pagano

Name: Peter Pagano

Major: Biobehavioral Health

Committee: Special Events

Past THON Experience:

THON 2014 Morale Committee Member, THON 2015 Dancer Relations Committee Member, THON 2015 Theta Delta Chi Canning Chair, THON 2016 Theta Delta Chi Family Relations Chair, THON 2016 Dancer, THON 2016 Special Events 5K/Development Captain

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

My family was interviewed for WifeSwap.

What made you want to apply for the Special Events Director position for THON 2017?

One of the most impressive things about THON is the collective effort of 16,500 student volunteering selflessly to execute and drive the multifaceted successes of this organization. THON has been a consistent inspiration for the past seven years of my life from my high school mini-THON all the way to THON 2016. The types of people that I have met from this cause, paired with my active involvement, enthused me to push myself further for this organization.

I applied to be a Special Events Captain to see the back workings of all the THON events throughout the year. I was always really impressed with the “student-run” aspect of how all the events were created and run and wanted to play a larger role in them. After seeing how all the events worked last year, I had many ideas that I wanted to see come to fruition and have the opportunity to give back to this organization that has given so much to me over the past three years.   

What are your responsibilities as the Special Events Director?

As the Special Events Director, I am responsible for all pre-THON weekend events including the THON 5K, 100 Days ’til THON Celebration, Family Carnival, Road to THON Celebration, hair donations and multiple other events throughout the year and during THON Weekend.

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

This year I really looked to introduce new and innovative ways to engage the student population here at Penn State, as well as engaging  the THON Community that may transcend past the boundaries of State College. This year, Special Events has worked to critically look at different events throughout the year, like the 100 Days ‘til THON Celebration, to not only make them more sustainable for the future but also how to make them different and just as exciting year to year.

What makes the Special Events committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

Special Events is a very important committee to the THON community because it really enforces the “year-long aspect” of the mission statement. Being responsible for all pre-THON Weekend events, Special Events  really allow for student engagement throughout the year, which is more that just the one weekend in February. It also gives more opportunities for the children and families impacted by childhood cancer to have a chance to forget about the disease and take a break from the constant worry of their lives.

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

One overarching goal of mine this year is to really emphasize how important the year-long aspect of THON is. I want to continue to enhance the event that Special Events does put on year to year but I always want to look to implement different and new events to keep our volunteers always entertained and continuously remind our families of the constant support they have all year.

Why do you THON?

I THON for the children and the families that have taught me so much more to life than I would have ever imagined. The Four Diamonds children that I have had the opportunity to met, have shaped many parts of my life and truly serve as an inspiration to myself to always push myself to the fullest. These children and families are the strongest people I know, so I THON to hopefully serve as some sort of relief or happiness, even if it is for just a few seconds.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

One of my favorite THON memories happened freshmen year when I was first introduced to one of my organization’s THON families. I walked into the house and saw a 6 year-old little girl painting 21-year old males finger nails and seeing the joy it brought to everyone in the room.

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

I would be a Megalodon shark because they have the ability to replace their own teeth, therefore I would never have to go to the dentist again.

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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