What’s new with THON 2015?

Each year, the THON Executive Committee makes important decisions and implements changes in an effort to improve THON. Although many of us have heard about this year’s changes, most people remain unclear on the reasons as to why they are being made. We talked to THON 2015 PR Media Relations Captain Graceanne Domino to learn more about the changes being made for THON 2015.

 Morale to Dancer Relations

One of the most well known changes has been the name change of the infamous Morale committee. “Morale” is now known as “Dancer Relations.” “The new name of Dancer Relations more directly reflects the committee’s purpose of serving as the primary liaison to volunteers selected to dance for THON Weekend,” Domino says. Despite the name change, the Dancer Relations committee will continue to fulfill the same duties that the Morale committee previously handled, including the planning of various pre-THON and THON Weekend Events and ensuring the safety and well-being of the Dancers throughout THON Weekend. “The name change displays the Committee’s increased focus on Dancer health and wellness,” Domino adds.

Four Diamonds Rebranding

The rebranding of the Four Diamonds, previously the Four Diamonds Fund, refers to both the name change and the logo change. “Four Diamonds rebranding, including their updated logo is an effort to clarify their value proposition to create a stronger and more cohesive brand identity,” says Domino. The new logo is a bolder and more modern design in hopes to remain recognizable when resized. In regards to the name change, Domino tells us, “The word ‘fund’ was dropped to address the fact that Four Diamonds provides more than just financial support to families at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Their support through Social Workers and Child Life Specialists goes beyond the financial coverage.” 

THON Webcast

Another improvement for THON 2015 is a revamp to the THON webcast. Erica Kasan, producer of the THON 2015 webcast says, “We want to revamp the webcast to be an industry level production because it has the potential to be. We want it to be like, ‘Look what the College of Communications can offer students in terms of production opportunities to get involved with THON.’” This year, the webcast is really focusing on branding itself. It will incorporate fun, interactive devices such as GoPros in an effort to provide new perspectives when it comes to viewing THON. While approximately 15,000 people are in the BJC during THON weekend, about 300,000 people watch the webcast. “I feel so honored to be part of this. It’s a unique opportunity and I couldn’t be more proud of this project,” Kasan says.

The Pass System

Although the pass system change remains a very sensitive subject, it should not be mistaken for one that needs to be avoided. The decision has been made that there will be a reduction in the number of floor passes that each Four Diamonds family will receive for the Sunday of THON weekend. In an open letter to the THON community, Megan Renaut writes, “This past year alone, there were 44 new families registered to attend THON for the first time. Not only does that number push us to keep fighting for a cure, but it also demands that we be proactive in our annual evaluation of the event. It is an unfortunate reality of scale that we must continue to evaluate and make pass cuts that can secure the growth and ensure the safety of our event’s participants.”  For a complete overview and explanation of this decision, we encourage you to read Megan Renaut’s full letter at THON.org.

Some changes are big, and some are small, but all are made For The Kids. Now that you know the rationale behind THON’s most recent changes, come out and show your support for THON on November 1st at the THON football game!

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