Working With Terp Thon
31 December by Adam Mirabelle
By Adam Mirabelle, Maryland ’14
When I first joined Alpha Tau Omega as a sophomore, I participated in Terp Thon’s 12-hour Dance Marathon for the first time and it changed my life.
Terp Thon is a student-run philanthropy organization at UMD that works year round to raise money and awareness for the kids treated at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. and their families. After just 12 hours of witnessing what this organization does and what they care about, I was hooked. I applied for Terp Thon’s planning team right after the Dance Marathon, and during my junior year, I served on Terp Thon’s Greek Relations Committee. My second year of involvement with the organization was even more rewarding than the first so I decided to apply for Terp Thon’s Executive Board, where I serve today. I have been fortunate enough to serve as Terp Thon’s Finance Chair, leading a team of six to manage the organization’s funds.
Terp Thon is currently in its seventh year of existence. Since its inception, it has broken Dance Marathon records year after year for amount of money raised, and it currently sits as the 9th highest fundraising Dance Marathon organization in the country. Last year, Terp Thon raised over $604,000 For The Kids, and this year, we set our sights even higher by establishing a fundraising goal of $800,000. We host events, small and large, throughout the year to garner as much awareness as we can to our cause and one such event was our fundraising push day on February 10th. On this day, Terp Thon set out to do something it had never attempted before and something that only a few other Dance Marathon organizations had successfully accomplished — raise $100,000 in only 24 hours. Throughout the day, it was my responsibility to make sure that every donation coming in was accounted for, credited to the correct individual or team, and added to our total. It took an immense amount of effort from everyone involved, but we were able to meet our goal and raise a total of $101,208.76.
At that moment, it became clear to me that Terp Thon and the people involved were capable of whatever we set our hearts and minds to. Words can only begin to describe the experiences that Terp Thon has allowed me to have, and I am grateful that I still have more to make.
Terp Thon has given me the chance to take some of the values that ATO instilled in me and not only put them to great use, but to also enable and lead others to do the same. It has given me friends with whom I have been able to deeply connect based on our shared passion for the cause. But most importantly, it has showed me that my brothers care for me more than I knew. Not all of my brothers share the same passion that I do for Terp Thon, but every one of them stands behind me and supports me tirelessly as I work for what I care about. That is the sign of a truly strong brotherhood and the reason why I am glad I found ATO.