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As the Director of Media, I am responsible for the maintenance of this beautiful website. I communicate with the rest of the Management Team to make sure the website is up-to-date. This website is crucial to communicating what HuskyTHON does, and what events the community and donors can get involved in throughout the year. I also work with the Media Committee to create and capture video/photo content to release to the HuskyTHON community. The slideshows shown on the night-of are created by me, featuring photographs from HuskyTHON events during the year. If you have any photo or video content from HuskyTHON you would like to share, please contact me at gro.n1580275985ohtyk1580275985suh@s1580275985igiah1580275985 – we would love to use it!
I am extremely thrilled to be serving as the Director of Merchandise for HuskyTHON 2020! I am responsible for planning, designing and organizing the merchandise and apparel students, donors and families can purchase throughout the year. Additionally, I organize an online store and multiple pop-up shops during the year to sell our goods! I also work closely with the Communications Team to creatively spread our message on campus and beyond. I’m looking forward to a great year, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions related to merchandise!
HuskyTHON was a very meaningful and integral part of my undergrad experience at UConn. When I graduated in 2014, I knew I wanted to help out in any way I could. At the time, I felt like that was limited to supporting my friends by donating. When the Alumni Board formed in 2016, I saw it as an opportunity to directly work with fellow alumni who shared many of the same experiences with HuskyTHON that I loved so much, and a tangible way to contribute to the event.
Over the past two years, I am proud to have seen the Alumni Board grow to where it is today through the hard work of its members and continued support of the HuskyTHON community. Whether you graduated 10 years ago or are just graduating this May, becoming part of the Alumni Board is the perfect way to stay involved in HuskyTHON. The best part of being on the Alumni Board is that can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you want to share your ideas, create a new project/initiative, or work with a team to plan fundraising events, the Alumni Board has a place for you. I highly recommend anyone interested in continuing their involvement with HuskyTHON to apply.
Special Events Chair 2018
Doctor and an artist
Corn on the cob
Forest Gump, it is funny and interesting and you always see something new
Joey from Friends
Walt Disney, he was a creative genius and he changed the world
A weatherman, like Ryan Hanrahan
Good Luck Charlie Christmas
Roman Atwood–YouTube vlogger
Roman Atwood because he seems funny and he loves his family. He’s awesome!
Businessman or Restaurant Owner
Ice Ice Baby
Daffy Duck, he is always funny
Jesus, so I could ask him all of my questions
Architect or Animator
Lego Batman Movie, I like the humor
Donald Duck, I like the way he acted inside the movies.
Jesus, so I can ask him questions.
Police – SWAT member
Gummy cherries or pasta
Star Wars – They are awesome
Tom Brady – He’s still playing great football at 40. He plays hard every game.
Pizza or fries or chocolate or pasta
Little do you Know
Barbie Rock’n Royals – it has great music in it.
Rey from Star wars
Big Ben from the Steelers – He might retire, and James Conner – He is a survivor like me
My mom’s mac & cheese
“If these sheets were states” All Time Low, “Without you” avicii, “Strip that down” Liam Payne, “waving through a window” dear evan hansen
Paddington because it is funny and really cute 🙂
Shawn from “The Good Doctor” because he is super smart
Lin Manuel Miranda because he is so talented
“Better when I’m dancin” Meghan Trainor
The Peanuts Movie, it has neat characters in it
Charlie Brown, he’s really funny
Martin Luther King Jr. because he’s amazing and ended segregation
Race car driver
Happy, by Pharell Williams
Cars, I love fast cars
Mickey Mouse Club House, I love singing and dancing to the hot dog song
Ellen DeGeneres, I sing and dance with her every day
I would like to do something with animals
“I Love this life” or “Tonight, tonight”
Dolphin Tale, because I love animals and it’s based on a true story.
Crush from Finding Nemo, because I love sea turtles
Emma Watson, because I love her in Harry Potter and in Beauty and the Beast.
What is your favorite cartoon, tv, or movie character and why?
“Minnie Mouse, she likes pink and bows” -Julia
What is your favorite movie and why?
“Percy Jackson, Love action movies” -Braden
What is his favorite song to dance to?
“All songs. Corey loves music and dancing” -Corey’s Parents
If you could meet one person in the whole wide world, from any time ever, who would it be and why?
“Maddie Ziegler from Dance Mom’s because she is a great dancer and really nice to every one.” -Ashleigh
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Oncology nurse or doctor at Connecticut Children’s” -Charlotte
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
“Mom’s homemade pierogi and goat cheese pizza from Camille’s” -Quinn
What is your personal reason for dancing?
“I have been a patient at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center since I was 9 months old, when I was diagnosed with a blood disorder, hereditary spherocytosis. The doctors, nurses, and medical staff at Connecticut Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders have provided me nothing but the best care over the past 19 years, whether it be for a regular appointment, a blood transfusion, or a surgery. Because of them, I was allowed to enjoy every part of growing up – playing sports, hanging out with friends, enjoying time with family, going to school, and all the little things in between – without having to worry about the symptoms of my blood disorder. I have never felt as though my blood disorder has held me back, and that is all due to the guidance and help that CCMC has given me over the years. I dance with HuskyTHON so that Connecticut Children’s Medical Center can continue to enable every kid who walks through its doors to live the life that they dream of, just as it has for me!” -Emma Kryzanski, HuskyTHON 2018 Morale Captain
What is your favorite color?
If you can meet one person in the whole wide world, from any time ever, who would it be and why?
“Rapunzel, so I can play with and brush her hair” -Lily
If you can eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
“An oatmeal raisin cookie or mac & cheese” -Colin
“This February will be my second HuskyTHON and I can’t wait because HuskyTHON 2017 was the best night of my life so far. Walking home from the field house last year, I was already sad that I would have to wait 365 days to do it again. When I got back to my dorm, I was almost too excited to sleep because of all the money we raised for the kids at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. I woke up from my post-HuskyTHON nap to a text from one of my biggest inspirations: Emilie Kasper. She told me I should apply to be a Morale Captain for HuskyTHON 2018 and that’s where it all started. Becoming part of Morale has been one of my proudest moments in my college career. I have been able to get more involved in the best organization on campus and connected with so many amazing people.
I dance for a better tomorrow for all of the kids at Connecticut Children’s and all other Miracle Network Hospitals. Knowing that every single dollar we raise could help one of those amazing children makes it all worth it. I can’t wait to do it again!” -Annie Longo, HuskyTHON 2018 Morale Captain
Teacher or a waitress
Fruit (strawberries, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, bananas….)
Sound of Music, Any Barbie Movie, Beauty and the Beast, (Disney Princess movies)
Glee, (Rachel, Brittany, and Santana)
Miss Jessica, because she is awesome. (That’s her old preschool teacher and Nanny… )
7 Years, Lukas Graham
Trolls because it is funny
Ariel, PJ Mask
Pink and blue
Ariel she is my favorite
It, because it is scary and I like scary things.
Tom and Jerry because it is old school and they don’t talk, they talk with funniness.
Mean girls, it makes me laugh
Minnie Mouse, she likes pink and bows
Wonder, because why not / It moved me, it was beautiful.
Yellow, black, purple
Roman Atwood, because he is so positive and fun. He’s family oriented and overall just a great guy. (Youtuber)
Cloud 9, it’s about snowboarding
Black and white
A Lego master builder
Start Wearing Purple
Star Wars: The Last Jedi because it is hysterical and awesome
Luke Skywalker, he rocks!
Just Like Fire, by Pink
The Labyrinth, I like how it’s so weird
Rainbow Dash, because she can fly and is so confident
Pink, because she is awesome
Goldie and Bear
Shake it off- Taylor Swift
Miracles from Heaven, because it shows that God is real and loves his children
Olaf because he is goofy and he likes warm hugs
My great grandma Gigi (Nancy Gorman)
Paddington and Paddington 2
Cinderella because she is my favorite princess
Hamburgers and fries
The Final Countdown, by Europe
Jaws, because it’s a “funny” movie, we need a bigger boat
YouTuber, Lea Ash
Thomas Edison, he’s a great inventor
Cows in the Meadow
Incredibles 2, I like the characters like Dash and Baby Jack
Gio from Team Umizoomi, because he is blue
Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson
Waffles because I love waffles
Perfect by Ed Sheeran
Clueless because it makes me laugh
Derrick Sheapard because he is cute
Liza Koshy because I love her YouTube videos and she makes me laugh
Chicken and broccoli stir fry
Fight Song, because it inspires me to never give up.
Matilda, because she makes the best out of life
Fairly Odd Parents
Ellen, because she inspires me to make a difference in my community and I know we could do big things.
A construction worker
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Kids Bop Kids
Cars 3, because I like Miss Fritter
Goofy, because he’s goofy
All fun songs
Star Wars The Last Jedi, because I just love it!
Princess Leia, she is a strong female leader
Carrie Fisher, she is an inspiration to me.
General Tso’s Chicken
Star Wars, because I like lightsabers
Beast Boy from Teen Titans Go, because he acts like me.
Oncology nurse or doctor at Connecticut Children’s
Full Out, because it is a medical story that has hip hop and gymnastics involved.
Supergirl, because it is action packed and has a real life story
Rachel Platen, because I like her songs like “Stand by You” and “Fight Song”
Ballerina / School teacher / fire fighter
Shut Up and Dance With Me
Moana, because of the songs in it.
Lincoln Loud, from the cartoon series The Loud House
Rapunzel, because I want to play with and brush her hair.
Singer or nurse
Star wars the Last Jedi, because it was better than all the other Star wars movies
Stephanie from “Full House” because I like how she says “How rude.”
The guy from Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder.
Firefighter or work with daddy at ESPN
All songs. Corey loves music and dancing
High School Musical, Corey loves singing and dancing
Blaze and the Monster Machines. Corey loves monster trucks
Blue or red
Javier Colon, I love how he sings
Bob the Builder
PJ Masks theme song
Moana, she fights the islands from dying from disease
Mickey Mouse, fun
Percy Jackson, Love action movies
Dallas Cowboy football player
Work for WWE
Do Re Me
John Cena, Funny wrestler
Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Toy Story 3, because the baby and the bear put all of the toys in jail, that’s my favorite part
Llama Llama, because he wears red pajamas to school and I want to do that.
Teacher or a nurse
Chinese soup or Italian
Cotton Eye’d Joe
Cheaper by the Dozen, because it makes me laugh
Pink and Turquoise
My great grandparents
Doctor, veterinarian, or hair stylist
I don’t have one
Home Alone, because it’s funny
Teen Titans Go, because it’s funny and silly
Benjamin Franklin, because I’d like to learn how he came up with all of those inventions
I’m not sure yet, but I will either be a nurse or APRN in the pediatric oncology field or something to do with forensics
Baked potatoes with sour cream
Any throwback song or modern rap song
Any horror film (Hush, Split, Conjuring) because of the suspense
Lip from Shameless, becuase he is always kind and supportive of his family
Any neon color, but preferably hot pink
Thomas Rhett, because he is such a good, kind, caring human and is always positive. I also adore his music.
Dance Teacher / Cowgirl
Chicken and Spanish rice
What Do You Mean?
Wonder, It’s a great story and makes me smile
SpongeBob, he’s funny
Funnel Vision Youtubers, because they are funny and a cool family
Orange glazed popcorn chicken
Theme to Stranger Things
Baby driver, because it was great.
The Flash, he is fascinating and my favorite DC character
The Flash from the show because I think he is awesome.
A race car driver for NASCAR
An oatmeal raisin cookie or mac & cheese
Can’t Stop the Feeling
Despicable Me 3, because I love the Minions
Donald Duck, aka “the Duck”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr, NASCAR driver
Fault in Our Stars, because it is inspirational
Katniss Everdeen, because Jennifer Lawrence is amazing
Super Truck, because he is the best
Elf, because it’s so funny
Buddy the Elf
Jodie Sweetin (From Fuller / Full House)
Mac & cheese
Descendants 2 Soundtrack
Cars 3, Cruz Ramirez is my favorite character, I love racing
Descendants 2, Mal is my favorite, she wears purple, my favorite color and I like dancing.
PURPLE! Pink & sparkles
Mal & Evie! I love them! Maybe they could teach me their dance moves.
Stamford Events Co-Chair
New York, NY
N/A – First time involvement
N/A – First time involvement
My participation in HuskyTHON has made me thankful and grateful for every healthy day of my life. It has also given me a renewed sense of how important it is for us to help others who are in need. It gives me great satisfaction to give back to the community especially with the involvement of the University of Connecticut.
Special Events Chair
2016: Alumni Board Regional Events Chair
2014: Director of Corporate Sponsorship
2013: AEPi Dancer Rep
My favorite HuskyTHON memory was in 2014 when I was able to spend some time with Antonio and David (the HuskyTHON kids on the AEPi team) and play catch. It’s really easy to get flustered and caught up with making sure everything is going smoothly and handling all the responsibilities you have on the night of that the half hour or so I was able to spend with Antonio and David really stuck with me. The kids are the whole reason we all get together to do HuskyTHON in the first place, and being able to see how much they’re enjoying HuskyTHON is what makes it all worth it to me–regardless of how much money we raise in the end.
Being a part of HuskyTHON has changed my perspective on so many things that it’s hard to put into words. More than anything, it’s opened my eyes to how much a group of people can achieve if they have the hard work, passion, and dedication to make miracles happen. Seeing HuskyTHON grow year after year in every way from the number of participants and money raised to its outreach in the community is proof of this. Someday, I hope that there are no more battles for these kids to fight and HuskyTHON won’t even be needed, but until then we will all continue to do whatever we can to improve as many lives as possible.
2016: Co-Director of Morale
2015: Morale Captain
When I graduated, I felt a huge void not participating in something that had been such an integral part of my life at UConn. With my schedule, I wasn’t able to attend HuskyTHON 2017, and I was heartbroken. I wanted to find a way to continue being involved from afar that was more than fundraising. Luckily I was able to join the board later that year, and it has been amazing to be a part of the growth of both the alumni team and HuskyTHON over the past two years.
My advice would be to help out in any way that you can! Whether it’s donating to dancers, attending alumni events, joining the board… or all three! HuskyTHON will never not need the support of each and every one of us to be the best it can be.
Dancer Representative, Dancer, Morale Captain, Alum
— My involvement with HuskyTHON actually started when I read the Daily Digest as a Freshmen and learned that groups around campus come together once every year for an annual 18 hour dance marathon to raise money for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. I knew very little about what HuskyTHON was but another girl on my floor and I signed up to be Co-Dancer Representatives and start a team for Shippee. The rest is history.
After experiencing my first HuskyTHON and seeing that miracles truly are possible when UConn huskies come together for something bigger than themselves, I knew I wanted to be more involved. I have been involved with HuskyTHON ever since as a dancer, morale captain for Alpha Epsilon Phi, and alum.
Oh man, choosing a favorite HuskyTHON memory is hard.
I remember walking through the tunnel of Morale captains cheering everyone on for the first time alongside Shippee’s miracle child to the sounds of the UConn Marching Band as hands were thrown out for high fives. I remember getting to watch AEPhi’s miracle child Grace perform dance routines on stage with standing ovations. I remember the enthusiasm that went into the “Harlem Shake” when HuskyTHON showed the trend how it’s really done – For the Kids style. I remember selling some of my photography that was hung in the local Starbucks to benefit HuskyTHON. I remember watching as it was announced that Taylor Swift donated $1,989 to HuskyTHON and everyone erupted in excitement. I remember listening to and being inspired by the miracle children’s stories. I remember watching the faces of children and their families lit up. I remember the humbling moment when the kids come back in the morning and they cut off everyone’s hospital bracelets and the official reveal as we all get emotional and realize just how much of a difference HuskyTHON makes. Seeing the student body, alumni, faculty, staff, families, and supporters come together to make a difference and support Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and miracles through all of these memories is what makes HuskyTHON unlike anything else.
Participating in HuskyTHON is something I would recommend every UConn student (or alum) do once in some capacity. It’s really indescribable to be under the same roof with so many individuals coming together to show their support for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, miracles, and most importantly, the kids. Participating in HuskyTHON has shown me the beauty of working with others to support a cause. It doesn’t matter where you come from, your major, or your background, all that matters is that we are unified to help make a difference in the children and their families lives.
HuskyTHON isn’t just an 18 hour dance marathon. It’s a movement towards a day where all children can be cured from their illnesses and live their dreams.
Boston Events Chair
2012: Director of Special Events
My favorite memory has to be the reveal in 2012. The shock on everyone’s faces was unforgettable, and the emotion in the room between the students and the families brought me to tears (and has every year since).
HuskyTHON was my first real involvement in a charity organization. The passion that surrounds HuskyTHON has truly changed my life, and helped me realize that there is so much good to be found in peoples hearts. The fact that so many students give up a weekend to be at this event and raise money for such an important cause has inspired me to keep participating every year. These kids look up to everyone in that field house, and having the privilege to dance for them is an honor that I never want to take for granted.
Two years as a dancer and two years as a morale captain. I was also on the Campus Affairs Committee my senior year.
Tough to choose but I’d say game night. It was awesome to see how the kids managed to create a fun environment within the walls of a hospital, that’s a special skill to have.
I graduated in May but HuskyTHON was something I knew I didn’t want to leave behind. It was really important to me to continue to stay as involved as possible as an alum because of the impact these incredibly brave children have had on my life. Until childhood illness is cured I’ll continue to support this great cause.
NYC Events Chair
2015 – 2018: HuskyTHON Alumni Board
2013: VP Recruitment
2012: VP Morale
2011: Assistant Director of Morale
2010: Morale Captain
Watching everyone in the Field House do the last Morale Dance together at noon each year before the reveal.
HuskyTHON is an incredible cause because it connects you directly with the beneficiaries of your hard work and fundraising. Watching those little miracles run around the Field House and knowing that we are making more miracles is something I will never forget.
2013: VP of Communications
2012: Director of Social Media
First year we had the live feed and family and friends were able to watch from where they were if they couldn’t make it, to include two kids dancing in front of the camera with their dad overseas watching.
Spending time with the children from CCMC as an undergraduate through Game Night, HuskyTHON and HuskyTHON-related events has encouraged me to dream big, use hugs unconditionally and cherish the moments I have. My participation has influenced me to continue to be involved because I love being a part of something that celebrates each of the children in place that they can have fun and be happy, and with the hope that with our hard work, one day there will be no need for HuskyTHON.
2012: Co-Executive Director
2011: VP Fundraising
2010: Assistant Director of Fundraising
Doing the first ever circle of hope in 2012.
HuskyTHON gave me the skills and inspiration to work professionally doing what I love every day. I now work full-time at a non-profit (Americares!) doing major gift fundraising.
This application is now closed. Check back at a later date for the status of this application.
“My favorite memory from HuskyTHON is how close I became with AEPi’s HuskyTHON Child, Christian. The opportunities I had to play basketball and bond with Christian all afternoon, and then later on to DJ with Christian and play all his favorite songs have become two of my most memorable college experiences.
As Christian has been paired with AEPi for three yours now, many members have developed close relationships with Christian and his parents. Since our friendship has become to grow, I have been able to stay in touch with Christian outside of the HuskyTHON event. At the end of the Spring semester, I was fortunate enough to make Christian an Honorary Brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi, and I was given the honor of being his “Big Brother” during his initiation ceremony.
Although the cause HuskyTHON is dedicated towards is one that is impossible not to empathize with and become passionate about, having such a personal connection like this, through Christian, has made the entire experience more meaningful and important to me. This has become more than a night once a year for Christian, but now a constant, year long friendship with someone I consider an inspiration, as well as a great friend. I plan on staying in touch with Christian and being with him through his journey and cannot wait to create even more memories at HuskyTHON 2018!” -Jamie Webb, HuskyTHON 2018 Management Team
“I’ve known since I was 13 years old that I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist when I grew up. When I got to college I was over the moon to finally be studying what I was most passionate about. I quickly got defeated by the difficulty of the classes I was taking and I began to question if becoming a doctor was the right path for me. On the night of my first HuskyTHON last February I was reminded exactly why I want to be a pediatric doctor in the first place. My first interaction with Abby, the child my organization was sponsoring, was her throwing a stuffed pizza at me. I ended up spending my night not with my friends, but with Abby because of her spunky personality and amazing spirit. As her and I were dancing around it came to me that the reason Abby was able to give me the most memorable hours of my life is because she is a fighter. This child that I was playing with was, and is, stronger than I have ever been, and will ever need to be. Now, every time I start to get defeated at school I think of Abby and how one day I can be the doctor who helps to save someone like her. But, for now I dance because every penny we raise is so that kids like Abby can throw a pizza pillow at some funny college kid just to make herself laugh. For the Kids always.” -Emily Gombotz
Why do you think students should participate in HuskyTHON?
“I think students should participate in HuskyTHON because it is a place to find purpose at such a large university. I think the cause is something that everyone can relate to, and HuskyTHON has a great way of involving students in so many different ways – whether it be a dancer, a volunteer, a member of the Morale team, a committee, or Management. There is a place for every student here at HuskyTHON.”
“Connecticut Children’s Medical Center has saved my sister’s life more times than she’s had birthdays (she’s almost 16) and has been instrumental teaching my family how to care for a child with multiple disabilities. It’s because of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center that my sister is so independent, healthy, and resilient now and I want to do absolutely everything I can to show them how thankful we are that they’ve been there every step of the way.” -Lena Ives
What is your personal reason for choosing to dance?
“I dance so that all children can live full, beautiful lives. I dance for my identical twin sister Victoria, who passed away at age six after battling Neuroblastoma three times. I dance for all of her superhero survivor friends and angels in heaven that endured similar battles. I dance to bring awareness to childhood cancer, and how 16,000 children will be diagnosed every single year–and I will dance until that number gets to zero. I dance because I know what it is like to have a hospital be your entire family’s second home, even during the holidays. I dance so that one day no child will have to grow up like this, but until then we will all dance together.” -Emily Polito, HuskyTHON 2018 Morale Captain
“If you could make one law, what would it be? It would be against the law for a kid to be sick” -Allie, HuskyTHON Child
“Being surrounded by the strength, love, and gratitude of all of our HuskyTHON families as Family Relations in 2017 was an experience I will never forget. I am forever grateful to have found in all of them even more reasons to love what we do. I will keep these in my mind, and close to my heart looking towards doing even bigger things for HuskyTHON 2018 as Co-Executive Director.” -Sam Gay, Co-Executive Director, HuskyTHON 2018
“My only regret from HuskyTHON 2017 is not taking more pictures of myself!! The night flew by so fast. I was behind the camera so much as Media Director that I forgot to take pictures of myself! To anyone who is even slightly considering signing up for HuskyTHON 2018, don’t hesitate, DO IT! If the kids can do it, UConn do it!! I promise it will be the best weekend of your life!” -Connie Bowman, HuskyTHON 2017 Management Team
“In my 4 years here at UConn it has blown me away to see what HuskyTHON has become. 72 hours of dancing has raised $2,570,254.75 ensuring countless miracles for the patients at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. I dance because 18 hours a year of dancing changes the lives of the bravest children I have every been lucky enough to meet. I am so grateful that the UConn community has a cause that we love as much as this, and it truly shows the quality of young adults who attend this university. To all future Huskies and those who have yet to participate, from the bottom of my heart I hope you choose to dance.” -Madeleine Gauthier, HuskyTHON 2017 Management Team
“Even in the final few hours, when your feet, body and mind are tired, all it takes in one smile or laugh from one of our kids to remind you why it is all worth it. The entire event is for them, a celebration of all they’ve overcome and hope for the future that other kids won’t need to go through what these kids have. As long as there are kids who need our help, we will keep dancing for them.” -Nicki Cartier, Management Team
“Every time the last song of the morale dance came on, I got chills all over my body knowing we were one hour closer to making miracles happen. But the 18th time, I looked around me as everyone finished the last dance together, and I realized that every one of us had accomplished something so incredible and so much bigger than we could have ever dreamed of.” -Bailey Gannett, HuskyTHON 2017 Morale Captain
“As Miss Connecticut, I am able to do a lot of amazing things, however, what’s most special is that throughout my reign, I act as a goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The job of Miss Connecticut allows me the great honor of visiting the kids at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, at least once a month, as well as participate in many of their outside events. Let me tell you, there is no greater honor!”
What are you most looking for to for HuskyTHON 2017?
“DANCING! I have been a competitive dancer since I was six years old, so dancing has a very special place in my heart. I believe everyone is happy when they’re dancing! Plus, there’s no better excuse to get up and dance than when it’s for a great cause.” -Alyssa Taglia
What are you most looking forward to for HuskyTHON 2017?
“What I’m looking forward the most about HuskyTHON 2017 is the influx of first time dancers! There is nothing like your first HuskyTHON experience! The energy is life changing – being able to meet families and children, most of those whom your fundraising has directed benefited, makes you understand that you really are a part of something way bigger than yourself!” -Mike Figueiredo, HuskyTHON 2017 Morale Captain
If you could travel any place on earth where would you go and who would you bring?
“Any hotel with my cousin, Trevor.” -Colin
“It goes deeper than just Dancing ‘For the Kids’. I’m dancing so that our HuskyTHON children are able to enjoy their childhoods and so that I can instill a sense of hope in them, so that they know that they are not alone. In addition, I dance to spread awareness. I believe that with the right attitude and energy, one individual can bring about change and I want people to know how important it is to be aware of the importance of dancing ‘For the Kids’.” -Frank Kosi Amaefuna, HuskyTHON 2017 Morale Captain
“I work for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals serving as an Area Dance Marathon Manager for the West. So I am very involved with Miracle Network Dance Marathons! Working with HuskyTHON I really, really fell in love with the Dance Marathon program and am so grateful to be working here now.”
Do you have a favorite HuskyTHON memory?
“Last year before the reveal. It was around 10am and I had just thrown up in the bathroom from not eating enough (TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF DURING THE EVENT!). Molly and I had just finished one of our last fundraising meetings and we went to the stage to do the morale dance. I just remember looking around at the management team, the families had come back, and all the students that were still dancing… I couldn’t help but just cry. It was an incredible feeling to look around and see that I had inspired so many people and created so much change on my campus and within my community. It was a beautiful moment that I won’t soon forget. Also after the reveal crying sobbing in front of 3,000 people. It’s a very raw feeling to be that vulnerable with people.” -Derek Litts, Co-Executive Director HuskyTHON 2016, Area Dance Marathon Manager
What gets you through a tough day at work?
“Either grabbing a cup of coffee in the hospital cafeteria or often a short ride on an elevator with patients and their families. Either of those experiences is a quick reality check that defines the small stuff when others are taking on life altering experiences.”
Why do you do what you do at Connecticut Children’s?
“I love building relationships and connecting people to the things that are important to them, and make a difference.
I am privileged to do this in an environment dedicated to improving the physical and emotional health of children through family-centered care, research, education and advocacy. What’s better than that?” -David Kinahan, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation President
“I dance to give back. I’ve been blessed to have made it to where I am now and every day that passes is just a reminder of how lucky I am to have opportunity continually knocking on my door. To take advantage of this I strive to make a difference in other peoples’ lives, especially the kids, and hope that I touched them in a positive way.” -Kevin Tran, HuskyTHON Morale Captain
What does HuskyTHON mean to you?
“HuskyTHON to me means endless hope and a magic amount of fun for us to be kids again with the kids we are fighting and dancing for!”
“I was considering transferring to another school during my freshman year, but after getting involved with HuskyTHON I knew I couldn’t leave. While we know that all our hard work through HuskyTHON really does impact the lives of the kids and families of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, as cliche as it sounds, HuskyTHON has had such a strong impact on my life too. HuskyTHON has really solidified my decision to become a pediatric physician assistant in the near future. Seeing the pure happiness on the faces of the kids is a constant reminder for me to push forward towards my goals so that I can work in a children’s hospital one day and help kids like them! HuskyTHON is without a doubt my favorite part of UConn, and will always hold such a special place in my heart!”
Why is HuskyTHON more than 18 hours?
“HuskyTHON is forever. To be all in for the kids is not just temporary, but a drive and passion that you hold on to forever. It’s a growing process– together as a community”
“HuskyTHON has easily been the best part of my whole college experience. This event exemplifies the idea that a group of people with a common goal can come together to make a positive impact on another person’s life. HuskyTHON is about doing something greater than yourself and I love that everyone who participates truly cares about what we are doing and the bigger picture.”
Why do you continue to dance?
“I will dance (and support HuskyTHON) for the rest of my lifetime because sickness will never go away. Children may get better or we may find cures for diseases but there will always be more children who have their childhoods stripped away because of illnesses out of their control. So I will dance for the next generation of children and the ones after that.”
“HuskyTHON is in my opinion, the greatest opportunity UConn offers. You meet the most amazing people and children and you get to do it all while dancing the night away with your best friends”
“HuskyTHON never truly ends, even after that 18 hours is over. Every single day, kids are admitted into Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, so every day is another opportunity to honor them and contribute everything I can to their growth and survival.”
“HuskyTHON means my favorite day during my first year as a UConn student, and a way to show our enormous love and support for the kids.”
“If I had three wishes they would be to have all the American girl stuff, become a nurse faster, and cure every kind of sickness.” -Madisen, HuskyTHON Child, cancer survivor
“‘Fairytales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.’ This is my favorite quote. We are asked to deal with the reality of the ultimate dragon known as cancer. We are asked to convey the hope that this dragon can be beaten. With hope on our side, we have the ability to share our ambition with others and to gain assistance in the conquering of this dragon. Therefore, I dance for more happy endings.” -Callie Robinson, HuskyTHON 2016 Morale Captain
This is Callie’s first year participating in HuskyTHON, but she is no stranger to dancing FTK. She participated and helped lead the Steve Stefani Dance Marathon at Springfield High School, which is the highest fundraising Mini-THON in Pennsylvania. Their event this year raised $248,416.35 for the Hershey Medical Center’s Four Diamonds Fund.
“Last year was my junior year and I got morale captain of the year. My feet really hurt by that point, but once I went on stage it was so weird my feet stopped hurting – it was just a reminder to keep going.”
How would you describe morale in one sentence?
“Morale means to be the best you can be to inspire others to be the best that they can be for the kids.”
When Corey was 8 weeks old he had lost a few pounds since birth and couldn’t seem to stop crying, keep food down, or gain weight. His mother had taken him to his pediatrician and then to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. After 2 inpatient stays: the first for 5 days, the 2nd for 18 days, Corey came home with a feeding tube for 4 months, had a nurse for a year and spent several years with therapists.
“Connecticut Children’s saved his life,” said Corey’s mom.
Thankfully today he is 7, in 2nd grade, and getting stronger every day. He loves bacon, steak, hummus, singing along with just about any song on the radio, wants to work at ESPN, and LOVES HuskyTHON.
“Don’t forget that Connecticut Children’s cannot be there for kids like Corey without our help.”
“Your jalapeño mac and cheese calzone really took off as a hit order the few days that it was offered!”
“At first, corporate called me and was like you have to take this menu item down and take the guy’s name off the menu. And I was like yeah you’re right it probably wasn’t the best idea, but then I was like what if I donate the money to HuskyTHON? And then the press eventually got word of it and corporate ended up loving it.”
“Why did you choose HuskyTHON as the fundraiser you would donate to?
“I thought it was a slam dunk. HuskyTHON is the biggest fundraiser in town.”
D.P. Dough UCONN it was great talking and fundraising with you! To get your very own calzone, head to https://www.dpdough.com/index.php/locations/storrs/.
“Did you ever think you would end up doing the job that you do?”
“Not even once. Before I started here I was a pretty shy person and really never knew a job like this existed. However, the day CT Children’s offered me an entry level position I didn’t even think twice. Now look, this job, these kids, our partners (Including the students at UConn) have changed me in wonderfully positive ways. I always say that I have the best job in the world. I get to work with the most AMAZING people, our staff and partners, and I get to work for the most INSPIRING people, our patients and families.”
“Since your birthday is this weekend, if you could have one birthday wish come true what would it be?”
“That one day my job could be eliminated because kids and they families would no longer need Connecticut Children’s.”
“Coming together as a community we are reminded of the passion that unites us all no matter who we are outside of the Fieldhouse and make such a difference for Connecticut Children’s. That being said, nothing compares to seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces the night of. It makes all the year-long fundraising efforts and 18 hours of no sleep well worth it. Honestly, we would dance 48 hours if it was AFTK.”
“When I was 5 years old, I spent 225 days at CT Children’s fighting a rare bacterial infection that I had a one-in-a-million chance of surviving. Without the doctors and nurses at CT Children’s who refused to give up on me, I would not be here today.”
“How would you describe HuskyTHON in one word?”
“Family. I have met some of the most kind and courageous people over the years through HuskyTHON. I’ll be forever grateful for all the UConn students who have danced for kids like me during their time here at UConn, but I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this event from the other side. Now it is my turn to dance so other kids will be able to overcome their medical obstacles!”
HuskyTHON has changed my life, as I’m sure it has changed many of yours. Spending three years on the management team taught me many things, but spending three minutes listening to the story of a child from CT Children’s has taught me just as much. What I have walked away from HuskyTHON with, and what I hope other students will gain, is the mentality to be absolutely relentless.
You hear it over and over during the miracle stories, about how these kids never gave up. They are survivors, champions, and true inspirations to us all. Bennett. Olivia. Becca. All incredible children with remarkable stories, children who have persevered through some of the toughest challenges and conquered insurmountable odds. No doubt, they are special. Their stories are what inspired me to get out of bed every morning and gave me perspective on my own life.
Not only in your work with HuskyTHON, but in all that you do, I hope you will be equally relentless. Dream those wonderful dreams, make big plans, and work tirelessly. Smash through your goals and then keep going!
If there is one aspect of my undergraduate career that makes me smile every time I reminisce, it is HuskyTHON. As a student currently pursuing a career in medicine, I have seen first-hand how important donations like ours are to non-profit hospitals like CCMC. I recently applied to volunteer there and during the orientation, we were informed that the hospital relies on donations to continue their mission.
The speaker then quickly mentioned that there are a handful of organizations that donate huge sums each year to CCMC. Knowing that I was a part of one of those organizations–understanding what HuskyTHON truly meant to this hospital and its patients–literally gave me goosebumps.
I was a member of the HuskyTHON 2012 Board of Directors and thus had the immense pleasure of raising over $304,000 for the kids. Being a part of a team that worked so hard to achieve a goal, and then to realize that goal in such a tangible form as our fundraising total–I have never been more thrilled. But, what excites me most about HuskyTHON is the bright future ahead. With each new year and subsequent team of talented directors, HuskyTHON has the chance to evolve into something new. It will gain more publicity, more esteem, and more ideas which summate into an everincreasing potential to better achieve its goal: to help children in need. Let us not forget that in THON’s thirteenth year they first broke the $300,000 fundraising mark, just as HuskyTHON did in our thirteenth year in 2012. THON is now raising millions.
I have the utmost confidence in the future of HuskyTHON and I cannot wait to see it grow.
If there is one thing you realize almost immediately about HuskyTHON, it is that enthusiasm and positivity are contagious. I first participated as a freshman in 2008, and I was hooked. I was nervous about standing on my feet for 18 hours the first time, but seeing the excitement of the Kids and Families we danced for at the actual event inspired me to hang in during the tough hours in the early morning.
Going into the Field House at 6pm on that chilly February weekend in 2008 I only had a handful of friends participating in the dance marathon, but 18 hours later after the HuskyTHON total was revealed I had made countless new friends, from all different majors and clubs who shared the same passion I did for being a part of something bigger than myself, a passion For the Kids. I decided to get more and more involved with HuskyTHON each year after and then I had the honor of being the Co-Executive Director of HuskyTHON 2012. The 2012 HuskyTHON Management Team epitomized the contagious enthusiasm and positivity that is distinct about HuskyTHON. The entire campus was pumped up, and this For the Kids excitement proved to be a turning point in HuskyTHON history. There were record breaking numbers in fundraising and participation totals. But even more importantly, the UConn students and college community finally understood what this HuskyTHON hype was all about.
What is HuskyTHON Dance Marathon going to look like in 5, 10, even 20 years? It’s hard to say because the possibilities are really limitless, which is a great thing. But I can tell you HuskyTHON will always have that contagious positive and enthusiastic buzz about it. As a proud UConn alumna, my biggest piece of advice to students is to try getting involved in HuskyTHON Dance Marathon in some capacity and see for themselves what all the excitement is about. Students today, HuskyTHON-ers forever.
From the Alumni, For the Kids
Co-Executive Director 2012
As the Co-Directors of Campus Affairs for HuskyTHON 2020, we are involved in expanding and enhancing HuskyTHON’s presence across campus! This year, we are so excited to be working on the Membership Team. We work to engage the UConn community in all things HuskyTHON in many ways, a few being hosting general information sessions and speaking to first year students. This year, we look forward to spreading our energy and love for HuskyTHON to reach the many crevices of this amazing UConn community. We act as liaisons for students to ask any and all related HuskyTHON questions! Our goal is to help all students have the information and resources they need to succeed and enjoy being involved with HuskyTHON in any and all ways!
We are beyond excited to be serving as HuskyTHON 2020’s Co-Directors of Dancer Relations! We can’t wait to make this the BEST year yet with all of you amazing Dancer Reps and Dancers. We are here to help you throughout the year with encouraging your teams to fundraise, relaying info about campus events, and preparing you for the night of. This would not be possible without all of you enthusiastic and dedicated dancers! So make sure to use us as a resource for any of your questions or concerns. This is going to be an incredible year for Connecticut Children’s and we need you to be all in!
We’re HYPED to be HuskyTHON 2020’s Co-Directors of Morale!! (especially because our team is made up of HuskyTHON’s best hype-men)! As the Co-Directors of Morale, we’re responsible for selecting a team of about 100 Morale Captains who are passionate, enthusiastic, and driven…and most importantly, love to dance for the kids! We also get to be creative and put our dancing skills to the test, as we create and choreograph the Morale Mix and Morale Dance, a ten-minute mashup that every Morale Captain then learns throughout the year. Then, at the top of every hour during HuskyTHON 2020, we all perform this dance to keep energy and spirits high! If you have any questions, please let us know.
I am honored to be this years Vice President of Membership! In this role I am lucky enough to work with all members of the HuskyTHON community. I lead and work closely with the Membership Team, consisting of the Co-Directors of Morale, the Co-Directors of Dancer Relations, and the Co-Directors of Campus Affairs. Together, we work to implement recruitment, retention, and stewardship efforts while ensuring each participant is informed and engaged throughout the year. I help to organize initiatives such as Registration Week, Child Health Day, and interactive tabling across campus in order to spread the word about HuskyTHON and ensure that our members are appreciated for their hard work and dedication to our cause. I am so excited for HuskyTHON 2020 and can’t wait to continue to build relationships with our amazing HuskyTHON community!
I could not be more excited to be HuskyTHON 2020’s Director of Entertainment! My role is to make night-of as exciting as possible for dancers and miracle kids alike. Over the course of the year, my committee and I will be collaborating with various vendors and performers to bring energy and entertainment to all 18 hours. If you are interested in performing at HuskyTHON 2020, please reach out!
I am extremely excited to serve as the Director of Hospitality for HuskyTHON 2020! I am in charge of all things food related, specifically food fundraisers, such as the food truck festival and the pasta dinner, and providing food for any HuskyTHON related events including the night of!
I’m so happy to serve as the Director of Special Events & Volunteers for HuskyTHON 2020! I am in charge of setting up the pre-HuskyTHON fundraising events, like ZumbaTHON, HuskyTHON Hunger Games, and more! I also am the person to talk to if you have any interest in volunteering for HuskyTHON. Volunteers are crucial in helping the night-of HuskyTHON run smoothly and making it a great event for the patients of Connecticut Children’s, their families, and all of our fundraisers and participants.
The Vice President of Internal Relations plans the details and logistics for the night of HuskyTHON. I work closely with my team – the Director of Special Events & Volunteers, Director of Hospitality, Director of Entertainment, and Director of Strategic Fundraising – to ensure that all HuskyTHON events run smoothly. For the night of, I make a timeline detailing what is happening at HuskyTHON every five minutes, from food and activities to miracle stories and the morale dance. I also organize what the Management Team will be doing and coordinate supplies like the Morale Stage, microphones, and projector, that we need to have a successful event. Lastly, I have a plan to manage emergency situations that may arise during HuskyTHON.
I’m super excited to be this years Director of Canning. I’m your gal for anything and everything canning related! Canning is one of the easiest ways to fundraise and I highly recommend everyone try it at least once! Not only do you get to make some money for your personal total, but it’s an amazing opportunity to spread the magic of HuskyTHON through the community. As Director of Canning I’m responsible for contacting stores to set up canning dates for everyone at HuskyTHON, and just doing whatever I can to help people be as successful as possible. If you know of any businesses that would allow us to can outside their store, or have any ideas on how to make canning more successful, please contact me!
I’m so excited to be serving as the Director of Strategic Fundraising this year! I am responsible for keeping track of all fundraisers run through HuskyTHON as well as any general fundraisers. I also work very closely with one of our partners, Positive Tracks, to help dancers run athletic fundraisers and ‘Sweat For Good’. I will be a point of contact for all things fundraising so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions!
I am super excited to be this year’s Director of Corporate Partnership. In this role, I am responsible for leasing with some of the partners that help make HuskyTHON the amazing event that it is. I help add to partners to our existing portfolio and look at interesting ways that we all can work together. In addition, I oversee the Corporate Partnership committee.
We are excited and humbled to be serving as Co-Directors of Donation Management this year! As Co-Directors we are jointly responsible for tracking, managing, and allocating all donations received by HuskyTHON. Additionally, we oversee the Finance Committee, who aid us in counting all the physical donations that come in.
I’m super excited to be serving as our VPF this year! In my role as Vice President of Finance I’m lucky enough to work with the Student Activities Business Office, our advisors, and the Finance Team to oversee all money that is raised and spent by HuskyTHON throughout the year. I create and maintain a budget to keep our expenses low (and our total high!), as well as project fundraising goals and track actual earnings. Within the Finance Team I work with corporate partnership, donation management, and canning to seek new partnership opportunities, track all physical money flowing through HuskyTHON, and continue to provide tons of canning opportunities for our participants. Overall, if it’s got to do with the money I’ve got my hands on it, so please reach out to myself or my team with any and all questions you may have about HuskyTHON finances!
We are so excited to serve as the Co-Directors of Hospital Relations for HuskyTHON 2020! As Co-Directors, our primary responsibility is to serve as the communication between the UConn community, our hospital advisors, and the miracle families. In order to create the most magical experience for the kids, we work year-round to organize the opening ceremony and invite children to HuskyTHON events! We are always for the kids and can’t wait to make HuskyTHON 2020 the most amazing year yet!
We are so excited to be Co-Directors of JonaTHONs for HuskyTHON 2020! “JonaTHONs” are fundraisers hosted by elementary, middle, and high schools that support HuskyTHON. JonaTHON events can vary in size and type, ranging from hat days to mini dance marathons. We recruit schools from all across Connecticut and help run these events in order to assure success and increase awareness for HuskyTHON and childhood illness. If you know of a school that would be interested in participating in the JonaTHONs program, please reach out to us! We will work with you to get in contact with the school and collaborate with the students and advisors to begin their very own JonaTHON!
I am so humbled and excited to be HuskyTHON 2020’s Vice President of External Relations. In this role I have the privilege to work with the many people outside of the student body that make HuskyTHON so successful. I lead and work closely with the External Relations team consisting of the Co-Directors of JonaTHONs and the Co-Directors of Hospital Relations, connecting us to elementary, middle and high schools around Connecticut who hold mini dance marathons and fundraisers as well as the children and families at Connecticut Children’s. As VP External Relations I work closely with UCONN staff and faculty, UCONN branch campuses, and HuskyTHON’s dedicated Alumni Board. I have the pleasure of working towards expanding, diversifying and growing the HuskyTHON community outside of the student body. I am so excited to see and work on all of the amazing things that HuskyTHON 2020 has in store! Always always ALWAYS for the kids!
I am honored to be serving as the Director of Marketing for HuskyTHON 2020! I work with everyone on the management team to advertise all the events, fundraisers and news to the HuskyTHON community. I am in charge of running the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, which all play important roles in getting the word out about all things HuskyTHON. I especially try to keep the awareness and morale high all year round for the most important weekend of the year! Send all of your HuskyTHON related pictures and videos to gro.n1580275985ohtyk1580275985suh@a1580275985deerf1580275985!
I am extremely honored and thrilled to be serving as the Creative Director for HuskyTHON 2020! As the Creative Director, it is my job to help create and coordinate all artistic sides of HuskyTHON from the graphics we post on our social media to the flyers you see around campus. I get the incredible opportunity to work closely with everyone on our amazing Management Team in order to help represent and extend HuskyTHON’s presence beyond the UConn campus. I could not be more excited to join together as a community to make HuskyTHON 2020 the best one yet!
I am honored and excited to be serving as the Vice President of Communications for HuskyTHON 2020. In this position, I oversee all of HuskyTHON’s branding, messaging, and public relations with the goal of spreading our mission and increasing our reach. This includes creating and leading effective campaigns, advertising HuskyTHON’s messaging, and branding HuskyTHON both within and outside of the UConn community. I lead an incredible Communications team, allowing me to play a role in social media, graphic design, marketing, and merchandise. I also have the pleasure of collaborating with the entire Management team to effectively brand, advertise, and carry out events year-round. I interact with media contacts and news organizations statewide through writing press releases for events and appearing in on-air interviews in order to spread awareness of both HuskyTHON and Connecticut Children’s. I am looking forward to an incredible year with HuskyTHON!
I am honored and proud to be serving as HuskyTHON’s Executive Director this year! I oversee anything and everything related to HuskyTHON, as I work with the entire 27-person Management Team all year to create and mobilize our organization’s movement. From things like recruitment to finances, I help my directors make sure everything goes as planned. I collaborate with the Steering Board of Vice Presidents and our advisors to ensure we are best executing Dance Marathon “best practices” in order to successfully raise funds and support for Connecticut Children’s and the families it serves – so that we can make HuskyTHON 2020 the best and brightest year yet!