Christine Harder, Executive Director of DemonTHON 2017

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Christine recently to discuss the big event, DemonTHON, that will be happening this year on April 28-29. If you are looking for more information about DemonTHON and/or how to get involved, go to https://www.demonthon.org/

About Christine

Hometown: Haslett, MI

Grade: Senior

Major: Hospitality with a concentration in Event Management, and a minor in Community Service Studies; my goal is to do special events and fundraising.

Spring or Fall?

Spring

Pancakes or waffles?

Pancakes

What is one thing you couldn’t go a day without?

Ice cream or coffee: they help me start my day and end my day!

What is your favorite place to go in Chicago when the weather is warm?

The lake.

What are you involved in on or off campus?

On campus, I obviously do DemonTHON. I am also a part of the event management club, and I am the vice president of the Eta Sigma Delta Honors Society for Hospitality majors. Off campus, I am interning at the Chicago Children’s Museum. I am in their development department and we work on fundraising events as well. It’s been a blast!

About DemonTHON

Speaking of DemonTHON, I know you are the Executive Director, could you tell me a little bit about your responsibilities?

What I do is oversee all the different committees and people involved, and that means mainly supporting the management directors throughout the year. I also act as the liaison between the [Lurie’s Children’s] hospital and our advisor on campus. I work closely with both ends to make sure that all communication is flowing clearly and consistently throughout the year. We are also a part of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, so I also am in charge of all the communication with them. I also help with overall strategic planning and making sure that we are consistent from year to year and that we are always improving and developing with time.

How did you become involved in DemonTHON?

During my freshman year, I was a part of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), which is a national service fraternity and many of the members were involved with DemonTHON, so I decided to start the APO team for the first time. I was a dancer rep with APO for two years and then I was on the board last year as the Volunteer Coordinator and now this year as the Executive Director.

What is your favorite memory from DemonTHON?

My favorite memory is going out canning* and someone said that they would donate but only if I did an Irish jig! So I did! And I actually met one of my best friends during that trip canning. You never know what is going to happen! And that is the first and last time I’ve ever been asked to do the Irish jig!

What are you particularly excited about for this year’s DemonTHON?

I have a unique experience [as Executive Director] because I have watched the whole process and have watch all of the people involved pour their heart and souls into this throughout the year. So, what I am excited about is being able to see all of them at the big event and see all of the accomplishments from this year of hard work. I am excited to watch it all come together. And really, all of the people on the committee are the ones doing all the hard work, I just support them so I am happy to watch their faces when they see all their work come to fruition.

With only days left until the big event, how can people who aren’t dancing contribute to DemonTHON?

They can sign up to volunteer! Or they can come during visiting hours and bring coffee and a snack for a friend, or just come and visit with someone they don’t know and make a new friend! They can also donate online, or go canning, even if they aren’t a dancer. They can even post on Facebook and ask friends and family members to support their friends who are dancing.

How can others get involved with DemonTHON next year?

Well, the biggest thing that DemonTHON is approaching this year is becoming a community. A lot of people see DemonTHON as just the big the event. However, we are a year-long organization, we do efforts year-long, so we want to remind people that we are a big community on campus and that they can be a part of that. So, in order to get involved, people can come to events throughout the year as a dancer, or not - everyone is welcome. They can volunteer for the big event; they can apply to be on the overall committee, the Core committee, or a morale captain. They can be a dancer, of course! So, there are many different layers of involvement and the cool thing about DemonTHON is that you can decide your level of involvement.

As a graduating senior, what’s next for you?

I have accepted a position for a gap year program, so I will be going to California next year and I will be working in a non profit organization as their Community Activities Coordinator. I will be living in a house similar to the V&L house* here on campus, where you live intentionally with other people who work for nonprofit organizations.

 

If you are looking to volunteer for this year's DemonTHON or to apply to be a part of next year's big event, go to https://www.demonthon.org/

 

*Canning is when dancers will go out into the Chicago community and asking people in the community to donate their change.

*The Vincent & Louise house is scholarship-based housing here on campus where the residents take part in intentional living and simplicity.