This weekend, THON members are heading back out on the streets for another weekend of canning.
Canning is when a group of students travel to different designated locations and stand outside asking people for donations.
For some, this will be their first weekend out, while others who are participating are veteran canners.
Michael Giuliani, a transfer student from Penn State Mont Alto, said the canning experience was a “big change” from what he was used to.
Giuliani, a member of Atlas, said at Mont Alto, students would can in shifts at locations close to the campus. Students would then switch off with the next group at the site and go back to campus for the day, as opposed to driving farther away and staying overnight at another member’s house, he said.
“The best part about canning this way with Atlas is that you really get to know the rest of the members of the group,” Giuliani (junior-architectural engineering) said.
Another “big change” for him was how much money they raised, he said. While the total cannot be revealed, it was similar to what Mont Alto’s whole committee used to make in a weekend, he said.
“You can only imagine my reaction when I found out the total,” he said.
Giuliani and 14 other members canned in New York during the previous canning weekend, he said. One of his favorite parts was when people would come up to him and sincerely ask what THON was, he said.
“It was really nice to go out further from Penn State and spread the word about THON to more people that may not know what we are really about,” he said.
After losing a friend to a brain tumor at the age of 15, canning has a personal meaning for Giuliani.
“I go canning so no parent has to lose a child and so that no child has to lose a friend,” he said. “I never want anyone to know what that feeling is like. That is why I fight to find a cure.”
After the success of the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon’s first canning weekend back in August, Cat Powers said she hopes to keep the momentum going.
Powers, overall public relations chairperson, said she is “really excited” for this weekend. With all the committee members selected, more volunteers will be out canning this weekend, she said.
This weekend will also be the only opportunity for members to can in Pittsburgh.
“There are a lot of members from Pittsburgh so it will be really fun for them to be able to can in their hometown and spread awareness,” said Powers (senior-public relations).
Powers said the workshops have been going well and there has been a good response to the buses and safety vests that were newly added before the previous canning weekend.
This year, THON partnered with Megabus.com to offer free rides to volunteers canning in certain locations.
The buses will be following the same procedure as last time and will be on a first come, first served basis, Powers said.
Mike Wellner, Overall Rules & Regulations Chairperson, said that THON has sold about 900 neon vests. Sales went up this week due to the increased knowledge about them and their “positive impact on canning,” he said.
“Organization members with the vests felt that they were able to attract more attention, all while feeling safer and much more visible,” Wellner (senior-supply chain management) said. “I think that the vests are a testament to THON's continued dedication to the safety of our volunteers.
Powers also said THON is always looking to keep participants safe.
“We hope members continue to stay safe and enjoy bonding with members of their committee,” she said.