After months of planning and new volunteer safety guidelines in place, students will begin heading out to their various locations as the first THON 2013 canning weekend gets underway.
Canning, when groups of students drive to different locations and stand outside holding cans and ask for donations, is one of THON's biggest fundraisers throughout the year. This year, there will be three designated weekends between now and November as opposed to previous years when there were four.
As a new sponsor for the Intrafraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, Megabus.com has donated buses that will take students to Harrisburg, New York and Philadelphia locations, Michael Ringenbach (senior-biology) said.
Ringenbach, THON overall donor and alumni relations chairperson, said that the committee reached out to Megabus.com over the summer and told them about their new volunteer safety guidelines.
With some help from the Courtney O’Bryan Memorial Fund as well as Megabus.com, the committee was able to get the buses, he said.
Courtney’s parents started the Courtney O’Bryan Memorial Fund after the loss of their daughter in December. Courtney and four of her fellow sorority members were on their way to go canning in New York when they slid on a patch of ice and flipped the car. Courtney died as a result of the accident.
While the exact number cannot be disclosed, Ringenbach said that there was a “strong student interest in the busses.”
This year THON will also begin selling neon vests that have Penn State THON and the organization’s website across the back.
Cat Powers, overall public relations chairperson, said that these vests are to “ensure canners are visible and cars will be able to see them better.”
Another benefit is that these vests will raise awareness in places where people might not know about THON, she said. Since the vests have the website on the back, people will be able to look it up and learn more about THON. Learning more about the organization might make people more willing to donate, she said.
Overall Merchandise Chairperson Ryan Patrick said that these vests will be sold before every canning weekend this year. Students who are interested in purchasing one can stop in room 321 HUB-Robeson Center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to pick one up. The cost is $5 and the purchases can be credited towards an organization’s THON 2013 total, he said.
Patrick (senior-mechanical engineering) said that the idea for the vests is because the committee cares about the volunteers and wants to “ensure their safety when fundraising.”
“We are really excited to be able to offer these options to make canning safer this year,” said Ringenbach.
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