Month: November 2017


Organization of the Month

School: University of Maryland, College Park Region: CAACURH
Nominee: Terp Thon Nominator: Rick Mikulis

On-Campus Population: 12500 Chapter Size: 125

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” –Ben Franklin

In 2010, a group of passionate students came together to start Terp Thon, the University of Maryland’s first dance marathon. Students were challenged to stay on their feet for twelve straight hours to raise money for Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Today, this tradition has continued and grown. Now, Terp Thon is much more than just one dance marathon. It is an organization that spends all year raising funds for the “miracle kids” of Children’s National. In November 2017, Terp Thon showed our whole campus what it means to believe we are more.

Coming off a wildly successful previous year in which the organization raised over $1 million, Terp Thon didn’t let that progress stagnate. On November 1st, the group announced their goal of raising $1.1 million throughout the year, culminating once again in their historic dance marathon. They also announced the slogan for the year: Believe We Are More, and there is no more fitting phrase for the spirit of this year’s team. The week of November 6th-10th, Terp Thon hosted For The Heroes Week. On Monday the 6th was “Meet our Miracles,” a chance for UMD students to get to know why Terp Thon does its amazing work. On the 7th was “Chalk Your Walk,” where Terp Thon members spent three hours in front of the library chalking the “Why” of their involvement in Terp Thon. The 8th was “Giveaway Day,” with free swag to engage students, Thursday the 9th was “Fuel Your Inner Hero” with free breakfast, and the 10th was “Who’s Your Hero” where students were asked to honor their personal hero on social media.

Throughout November, Terp Thon recruited a lot of dancers by sharing on social media the hilarious things dancer have done for donations, like smashing an ice cream cone into their own face, dressing up as a narwhal to swim in the school’s fountain, or duct taping themselves to a wall for an extended amount of time. All that hype built up towards Terp Thon’s most important day of the Fall – The Day of Miracles, which lasted from noon on November 16th until noon on November 17th. On the Day of Miracles, Terp Thon had a goal of raising $100,000 in one day for the kids of Children’s National. After the full 24 hours of fundraising, they far exceeded their goal by raising a whopping $125,462.09! To think that a student group can raise that much money in one day is absolutely mind-boggling, but it makes more sense when you learn just how special Terp Thon is.

I’m not a member of the Terp Thon team, but they inspired me to sign up to be a dancer. These students have nothing but joy and hope in their hearts and they share it with the campus on a regular basis. They also give us something for the campus to rally behind. As we approach difficult issues as a campus such as hate and bias or a campus climate of unsafety and uncertainty, Terp Thon shows us what is worth believing in. In November, they demonstrated the University of Maryland’s commitment to giving back and doing everything we can to help out those around us, and they did it with a smile, cheers, and hilarious stunts. Terp Thon truly is incredible and I have no doubt that they will reach their $1.1 million goal, plus plenty more. I believe in Terp Thon, and because of their work in November, I Believe We Are More.

Word Count: 600

Date of entry into database: 2017-12-07 21:21:11

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