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THON Director Thursday: Meet Entertainment Director Jonathan Ringenbach

Name: Jonathan Ringenbach

Major: Landscape Architecture & Geography

Past THON Experience:

Freshman Year: Entertainment Production Committee Member
Sophomore Year: Entertainment Captain: Stage Performance Coordinator
Junior Year: Entertainment Captain: DJ Coordinator

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

I like pizza.

What made you want to apply for the Entertainment Director position for THON 2018?

Serving as the Entertainment Director provides me the opportunity to build upon this organization’s decades of work and create better opportunities for the Executive Committee, Captains and Committee Members to develop and implement their own visions for THON specifically through the Entertainment Committee. I believe THON’s greatest strength is that we are a student-run philanthropy. Each student volunteer brings their own ideas and visions and I wanted to provide opportunities that make these dreams a reality for the betterment of this organization. Everyone should have a voice to make a difference so I want to make people feel included and integral to the fight against childhood cancer.

What are your responsibilities as the Entertainment Director?

My main responsibility as the Entertainment Director is empowering the Entertainment Committee to make tangible changes within their positions and to connect all entertainment aspects for the benefit of the entire THON Community. Since the Entertainment committee is responsible for motivating thousands of THON volunteers and supporters through various mediums like video, audio and performance entertainment, setting up and tearing down the stage, lighting and sound equipment, working the in house cameras and video displays, organizing the THON Weekend Kick-Off Show and Pep Rally, engaging the crowd and creating the THON Weekend Timeline, we have endless opportunity to develop and improve each year after year. I work closely with the Entertainment Captain Committee and Entertainment Crowd Committees to ensure we are doing everything in our power to improve these elements for a better overall event production and execution.

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

The introduction of a second Crowd Entertainment Committee provided excited, new possibilities for THON 2017. Building off that momentum and having 52 Crowd Entertainment Committee Members dedicated to developing the crowd experience for events and THON Weekend is something we can grow even more for THON 2018. We are exploring new ways to appeal to the 10,000 plus spectators in the BJC THON Weekend to feel more involved and connected to the stage and floor. One area is to create more “shared moments” for THON Weekend. Some of the best moments of THON Weekend are when every single person is focused on an event like Pep Rally, a Line Dance or Family Hour. I want people to experience more moments like these and feel to that “indescribable energy” of THON Weekend.

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

Entertainment is so cool, unique and fun because we have the opportunity to impact so many Four Diamonds Families, THON Volunteers, Donors and Supporters by creating positive and memorable experiences at over 50 Pre-THON Events and THON Weekend. We are able to collaborate with other THON Committees, organizations and external stakeholders to create magical moments that will remain with people long after the conclusion of each event and THON Weekend.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2018?

When every person walks out of the Bryce Jordan Center after the conclusion of THON Weekend, I want them to feel like they just experienced the most unique and powerful event of their entire life. I want people to be awe struck by the unforgettable experience and emotion that encapsulates the entire Bryce Jordan Center for the duration of THON Weekend. My main hope is to best utilize the 77 members of the Entertainment Committee to achieve this goal of creating such a complete and incredible experience for the 16,500 people in attendance at THON Weekend 2018.

Why do you THON?

Each year I find new reasons that inspire me to get more involved in the fight against childhood cancer. I strive to make a difference for people who are going through arguably the most difficult time of their lives. I want to assure these families they are never alone in this fight and they always have people fighting right beside them through the good and bad times. Cancer is a terrible disease but I hope to create more positive moments for these kids and families to overpower the negative ones. Moments that make them forget about their cancer treatment and experience the joy and happiness of childhood.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory is being able to play the final song of THON 2017. It was incredible to see 16,500 people cheering, hugging and crying as the total reveal was announced and then hearing the song ‘Whole Heart” by Gryffin overtaking the BJC. The song’s chorus goes, “you’ve got to, got to, got to go whole heart” and it really just embodies the passion and dedication to our yearlong fundraising and awareness campaign in hopes of conquering childhood cancer.

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

A T-Rex because I have a big head and little arms.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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