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THON Director Thursday: Meet Special Events Director Brady Lucas

Name: Brady Lucas

Major: Biobehavioral Health

Past THON Experience:

Dancer Relations Committee Member freshman year
Special Events Committee Member, Dancer for THON 2016
Dancer Relations Captain
THON 2018 Special Events Director

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

I am an avid candle connoisseur (favorite scent pumpkin pecan waffle).

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

THON has been a part of my life for many years and I have seen the direct impact it has on the families, friends, volunteers, supporters, and other stakeholders. Everyone THONs for a different reason, but we all have one common goal of defeating childhood cancer. These thoughts always crossed my mind in how I can do as much as possible to try and find a cure. I believe that every single person can change the world and when deciding to apply to be a director, I thought about this. I wanted to have the chance to give the families the sense of hope. I wanted to be able to inspire the THON community like so many of my previous leaders have done to me. I wanted the chance to devote my entire year into conquering pediatric cancer as much as possible.

What are your responsibilities as the Special Events Director?

As the Special Events Director, I work alongside the 16 Executive Committee members, 18 Special Events Captains and 128 Special Events Committee Members to encompass the year-long support to the Four Diamonds Families. The Special Events Committee oversees the planning, preparation, and execution of the THON 5k, 100 Days ‘til THON Celebration, Family Carnival, THON Athletic Sporting Events, Road to THON Celebration, all Hair Donation events, parking logistics for events and THON Weekend, THON History, THON Dodgeball, THON Skate, Athlete Hour and alternative committee events. As a member of the Executive Committee, we work to be a resource for any of the volunteers or stakeholders within THON.

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

Everything that the past Special Events Directors have done has laid an incredible landscape of growth for me this year. I want to take the ideas that they all had, as well as the ideas the rest of Special Events 2018 have and run with it. I do not want to hold ourselves back this year in brainstorming and implementing ways to make the events better for the entire THON community. I also want to implement a constant positive environment for the entire THON community.

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

The Special Events Committee shows the constant yearlong support for the families and volunteers. The Special Events Committee is unique because there are endless possibilities for ideas. We are never limited to the ideas we can come up with and are able to implement. The creative side of every volunteer can be showcased in the Special Events Committee. Seeing the families smile at all our events throughout the year is what makes the Special Events Committee so incredible. This committee allows THON to support the families throughout the year and not just one weekend.

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

My overall goal is to expand on the events beyond just State College and truly provide the yearlong support to the Four Diamonds families. We were able to expand the THON 5k beyond the walls of State College with the Virtual 5k. We were also able to expand the 100 Days ‘til THON Celebration to Hershey this year. In addition, we were able to expand on the THON Athletic Events and have a THON Hershey Bears Game. I want the Special Events Committee to be sustainable for the future and truly encompass the yearlong effort of THON. I also want the Special Events Committee to be able to provide that constant inspiration in the form of events leading up to THON Weekend.

Why do you THON?

I THON for all the children to have the chance to grow up and live their dreams. I THON for Maddie Hill and Brandon Hohenadel, whose legacies live forever within so many. I THON for all the doctors, nurses, and staff at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. I THON for all the researchers out there trying to find a cure for childhood cancer every day. I THON for my family and friends. My family and friends have been a constant inspiration and source of support through all my life battles. Finally, I THON because smiles make the world go round. A smile can truly change a life and if I can make even just one person smile, it can create a trickle-down effect and change the world.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

It is hard to pinpoint an exact favorite THON memory because they are all so amazing, but one of my favorite memories was dancing in THON 2016. I had the chance to share the stage with my little brother Shaun, who was also my bone marrow donor. The pure emotion that came from my body will never be able to be replicated in my entire life. Tears flew down my face every single moment of that weekend. I dreamed of dancing in THON since I was 8 years old and this was a dream come true. That moment will forever be powerful because it showed me that THON is so much more than a year-long effort accumulating in a 46-hour no sleeping, no sitting dance marathon. I was able to represent all the children out there that battle cancer every single day and represent all those who we unfortunately lost.

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

A triceratops because when I was little I would constantly watch The Land Before Time. I am a child at heart and this movie brings me back to my childhood.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior 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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