2/14/22: Ryan Kerrigan

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Hey FOTO Fam!!!

 

The weekend you guys have put so much work into making special is finally here, its THON week!!! I am so unbelievably jealous of you all and would do absolutely anything to be able to experience THON for the first time again, or even just stand with you all in our section. The memories you make this weekend will last a lifetime!

 

For those that do not know me, my name is Ryan (mostly just go by Kerrigan), and I was last year’s president for THON 2021. I joined FOTO as a freshman and held the positions of Liaison, Alt Funds chair (shout out Jodi and Rylee), President, and danced in THON 2020! When I went to my first meeting, I didn’t know anything about THON or FOTO, and thought it was just another club to meet friends to go out with on the weekends. I was not very involved my freshman year and only went to 2 meetings! I decided to check out THON 2018 with someone on my floor in Snyder Hall who just so happened to be in FOTO as well (shout out Kolby Rush) and stood with him in their section for a few hours on Friday night. Fast forward to Sunday and I stood in the stands for almost 40 hours and I was completely changed by what I had experienced. At that moment, even though I didn’t know it, I had met some of my best friends for life, and started a journey at Penn State through THON that completely changed me as a person. For those listening to this now, know that regardless of how involved with FOTO you may have been in the past, this organization will always be there to make your own journey. I certainly never thought I would be the president of FOTO or a dancer before my first THON!

 

THON 2022 is finally here. I know there are many emotions that you all are feeling, as this may be your first ever THON, first THON you’ve experienced in person, or your last THON. You may be excited, nervous, or like your president Jordan, slightly relieved! 

 

To the new members experiencing an in person THON for the first time. I know many of you might not know what to expect from this weekend. I have complete confidence that you will all leave the BJC on Sunday feeling changed by what you just experienced. No matter how much you contributed to FOTO this year, know that every cent you raised, every fundraiser you helped with, and every meeting you attended helped make this moment what it is. Maybe you just went to a few meetings, or maybe you were one of the most involved new members this year and even became a liaison. Regardless of your contribution, know that if you decide to commit yourself to FOTO this weekend and in future, you will make memories that last a lifetime and lifelong friends that will always share the same connection to THON and Penn State as you.

 

To the members and officers experiencing your last THON. Cherish every single second of this weekend. Every challenge, argument, laugh, memory and moment you have shared with each other and FOTO’s families all comes down to this weekend. In a few months you will graduate and move on to somewhere far away from THON and Penn State (hopefully not Columbus, Georgia, wow it sucks here). Every return to Penn State after graduation will bring memories of the amazing times you had there. No matter how tired and worn down you may feel from the grind of a year of fundraising in THON, just know that one day, you will do anything to come back to this day right now and experience THON just one more time. Don’t cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

 

To the dancers. YOU GOT THIS! There is no greater honor as a THON volunteer than representing your organization as a dancer for 46 hours. Every single one of you is more than deserving of this opportunity, and you will participate in something bigger than yourself. THON 2022 will most definitely be one of the best weekends of your life! When it gets tough, know that you have a whole section above you that’s there for you to hype you up and keep you going. Enjoy your time on the floor and don’t quit! You’ve earned this and you can do it. Take lots of pictures (especially during Sunday morning scary hours), drink lots of water, and treasure every second as a dancer.

 

Congratulations to every single one of you on another successful year. When Jordan became president and picked her board, I knew that this organization would continue to set the standard for what it means to be student volunteers and do amazing things. I am so damn proud of you all and I can’t wait to hear about how amazing it was from everyone. Happy THON week, FOTO, see y’all soon.

 

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©2022 FOTO

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