Though special interest organizations for the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon are exploring alternative fundraising opportunities, they are also focusing on building their community.
Ohana President Patrick Lafferty said many of the organizations have grown in size this year, with smaller organizations sprouting and learning from larger ones. Many executives from different organizations have begun getting to know each other better, he added.
“It’s a new, cool community we got going on,” said Lafferty (senior-information sciences and technologies).
Not only have the executives begun forming relationships with one another, but they are also strengthening relationships between members of their own organizations.
Because 50 percent of Pillar’s members graduated last year, Vice President Kaitlyn Armstrong said the members are in the process of stabilizing.
President of Pillar Robert Briglia said that heavy recruiting is key to keeping members in their organization. So far, they have been able to find sophomores, who joined a different organization their freshman year but were unable to be as involved as they would have liked.
Armstrong (senior-nursing) added that the organization is different than others because of its focus on emotional support for its family. She said she and her members focus highly on the relationship they’ve created with their family of one THON child with seven other siblings.
“[The number of children] makes it unique and keeps us busy,” she said.
As for alternative fundraising, Pillar plans on holding a pasta dinner in its THON child’s hometown, as well as canvassing. Briglia (senior-accounting) said that the loss of the fourth canning weekend has created a “creative window” for people to think of alternative fundraisers.
Boulevard THON Chair Reed Taylor (junior-chemical engineering) said another fundraising idea would be to incorporate alternative fundraising opportunities into canning weekends. For example, after a day of collecting money, canners could ask a local restaurant to host a fundraiser where a portion of its profits from that day went to THON.
Taylor added that this could work for canvassing weekends as well.
Atlas President Steven Patrick said the loss of the fourth weekend has been beneficial for his organization. Because a lot of planning goes into canning weekends, Patrick said the organization has had more time to turn its efforts elsewhere.
“It’s almost nice; we get to focus on getting our members closer together,” said Patrick (senior-energy engineering and energy business and finance).
He said his organization is also planning a canvassing weekend to continue raising money. But for him, what will make THON different this year is watching Atlas’ three THON children grow up.
Because all three girls are in remission, Patrick said, “cancer has become a distant memory.”