PSAA Presents: Showcasing the Power of Penn State

Message from the THON™ Director of Alumni Engagement

To kick off our ALC Update THON 2023 special edition, the current Director of Alumni Engagement for THON, Anna Yankanich, has written a special message for our alumni volunteers.

Dear Penn State Alumni Community,

My name is Anna Yankanich, and I am a current third-year student at Penn State studying Supply Chain & Information Systems in the Smeal College of Business. I also have the pleasure of being the Alumni Engagement Director for THON™ 2023. Throughout this year, I have had the incredible opportunity to witness generations of Penn Staters to come together to further THON’s mission and Foster The Magic of this organization and its community.

As we entered our 51st year, THON continued to grow and start new initiatives this year that will improve the future of our organization. Below I have listed a few notable examples of these efforts:

  • In an effort to connect alumni to the emotional support side of THON’s mission, the Alumni Communications Team hosted the first ever “Alumni Connection Series” on Facebook Live. This series highlighted the families we serve, the research we support, and our relationship with Four Diamonds, our sole beneficiary.
  • This year to honor those we remember in our hearts; a THON Remembrance Tree was dedicated in the Arboretum. This on-campus dedication has given families, student volunteers, and the entire THON Community a place to reflect and center our efforts around THON’s mission. This dedication would not have been possible without the generous support of the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG).
  • The Family Relations Committee has used the experience of the past few years impacted by the pandemic as an opportunity to expand the virtual programming that we use to support our Four Diamonds Families. Many of these families are required to quarantine because of their cancer diagnosis, and the development of engaging, family-focused programming this year will allow THON to engage these families moving forward. 

These three examples are just a few of the many new initiatives that have been started this year. This year, our organization has focused on growing initiatives and looking ahead as we enter the next 50 years of our journey. This outlook has allowed us to look at many of our events and initiatives in a new way. This new way of thinking will undoubtedly help improve THON this year and beyond. THON Weekend, our annual 46-hour dance marathon, will be taking place February 17th-19th from 6PM on Friday, February 17th until 4PM on Sunday, February 19th. We encourage you to join our 708 dancers, in person in the Bryce Jordan Center, or virtually on our livestream. Entertainment acts and performance groups will be featured at various points of the weekend along with additional side engagement. It is more important now than ever before that THON is continually uplifted by our alumni supporters. I encourage everyone to look at each of the opportunities outlined in this newsletter and find the ways that make the most sense for your chapter to support. I have been overwhelmed by the support THON has received thus and am looking forward to supporting each of you in your THON efforts. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions of concerns.

For The Kids® & For The Glory,
Anna Yankanich
THON 2023 Alumni Engagement Director

See a list of many of our archived events.