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THON Nation Makes An Impact Around The Globe

THON Nation, a new initiative created this year, aims to spread awareness about THON around the world.

Alumni groups, individual alumni, Four Diamond families, and friends of THON can join and work with thousands of volunteers at Penn State to make THON happen and fight against childhood cancer.

THON Nation was created by THON 2019 directors Lulu Hamm, Katie Solomon, and Jess Tyrell to rebrand third party fundraisers. The idea came about in April and was a project for Development and Alumni Relations captains throughout summer 2019.

Alumni Engagement Captain Tiffany Seibert had the idea for the booth during THON Weekend to spread awareness about THON Nation and how graduating seniors can remain involved after their time at Penn State is over.

Participants in THON Nation can create their own pages on Donor Drive to celebrate personal milestone or pay tribute to someone who passed away and inspired them to get involved with THON. Companies can also host their own events benefiting THON.

The Alumni Challenge is another initiative created by THON Nation to encourage friendly competition. A cancer ribbon is added to for each donation, and a donation of at least $150 will result in the person’s name being added to the Donor and Alumni Wall.

Non-monetary donations are also encouraged in the form of letters asking family and friends to donate to THON, bringing alumni back to their THONvelope days. This initiative, called Inspire5, allows the reach of donations to expand across the nation.

Although third-party fundraisers succeeded in past years, THON wanted to rebrand to make these initiatives more inclusive, thus creating THON Nation. Eddie Issertell, an Alumni Engagement captain, said THON is already seeing an improvement in people interested in these fundraisers.

Issertell added that THON Nation spent a lot of time educating the student body and committees about their new initiative. Many students weren’t aware of third-party fundraisers.

“It’s been really awesome to see this initiative grow from the ground up and getting alumni involved and engage them by hosting their own events,” Issertell said.

Lulu Hamm, THON 2019 Alumni Engagement Director, said THON Nation has the unique ability to bring together alumni and THON families.

Hamm added that the goal of THON Nation is to show alumni that although THON lasts four years as a student, it’s an event we’ll always carry with us.

“[THON Nation] is the driving force behind what lets THON be something that is nationally recognized,” Hamm said. “It lets us spread our mission and spread hope to all corners of the country.”

This post has been updated to clarify how the THON Nation idea was developed.

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About the Author

Cassady Potts

Cassady is a junior English and journalism major and Onward State's Student Life Editor. She is from York, Pennsylvania and loves iced coffee, books, and women's volleyball. You can find her on campus by looking for the girl who always wears stripes. Feel free to send any questions, comments, or memes via email (ca[email protected]) and follow her @cassady_potts on Twitter.

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