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[Photo Story] Talking To The Letter-Holders At THON

The holders of the big letters, perhaps the unsung heroes of THON, put in important work for their organizations. One of the many visual staples of THON is the letters from each org floating around BJC throughout the weekend. But, who are the people behind these letters?

Many people take in the sights of the letters without thinking about who’s actually holding them. Somehow, they’re still bobbing up and down in the crowd after nearly two full days. It’s not easy holding these hunks of cardboard up for extended periods of time, so who are these people, and how are they up to the challenge?

This fraternity member from Alpha Tau Omega said his org takes turns passing around the letters, and he’s feeling great just about seven hours into his shift. Seems logical. But that got us thinking, does anyone attempt to hold the letters for long periods of time? Has anyone ever taken on 46 hours of holding letters? We had to find out.

Dan from Phi Kappa Psi wasn’t feeling as well. He said he’s been holding his letter (Psi) for a “considerable amount of time,” and is in a lot of both emotional and physical pain. He theorized holding a letter for 46 hours would be impossible.

Abby from Eclipse, who’s been holding the letter “E” for “over an hour,” said her morale is surprisingly high. Although the thought of holding a letter for 46 hours seemed impossible to her at first, she eventually came around to it. “The pain goes away,” she said.

Will from the Singing Lions (SLions) said he doesn’t think 46 hours could be done, even after holding a smaller “S” for only a couple of minutes. His org members agreed, and said they’ve been using a letter-passing method throughout the weekend.

Things got a bit interesting here. Will from Alpha Kappa Psi has been holding “Alpha” for what he claims to be more than two and a half hours. But, he actually said he feels fine and can keep going. When asked about the forbidden potential of holding a letter for 46 hours, he thinks it can be done. Incredible.

The folks out in the stands at THON who are holding letters for their orgs are a special crop of people. Maybe moving forward someone can start the tradition of holding a letter for 46 hours, out of solidarity with the dancers from the stands. With commitment and proper training, maybe it can be done. Only time will tell.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a sophomore business major from Bucks County, which is juuuust outside of Philly. He's a huge Philly sports fan, back to back to back failed entrepreneur, and he appeared on the Rachel Ray Show at the age of 5. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on twitter @rjparsons9. Any "serious" inquiries or death threats can be sent to [email protected]

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