By AUTUMN HAZELET – On March 24, nearly 200 IHS students gathered at the new gym after school for the ninth annual Mini -THON.
Inspired by Penn State’s annual THON event, a 46-hour dance marathon, IHS’s Mini-THON is a six-hour event where students not only dance for hours on end, but also play various games, competing against their fellow classmates.
The total of the proceeds raised by the event currently stands at $22,338.85, with more expected before the grand total is reached. All proceeds benefit the Four Diamonds Fund; the intent is to symbolize how children with pediatric cancer never get a break.
Students, teachers, community members, and local businesses all contributed to making this the highest total year in IHS Mini-THON history. This year’s largest donators were Reliant Holdings, The Indiana Area Education Association, doctors Imran and Rabia Bajwa, and the Indiana Senior High faculty.
Last year, over $17,000 was raised for the kids. Each year, the record has been broken, thanks to the tireless efforts of students in Leadership Seminar. This group of seniors plan the entire event, beginning their fundraising activities months in advance.
This year, some new activities were presented, along with classics like the popular tug-of-war. Each of the four teams represents a different color on the Four Diamonds logo, and this year the yellow team reigned victorious.
Several new games were introduced this year that went over very well with the participants. “The game of Jeopardy! Is new,” stated senior Danyal Bajwa. Like the THON song which each year reflects on events from the past year, it’s categories were very topical. It featured everything from current events, to movies and music, to IHS trivia, to memes. Bajwa adds, “The lip sync battle was also new this year.” The songs were chosen so that participants would have a high degree of familiarity with them. “Every team learns their song,” said senior and fellow Leadership student Logan Tshudy, “We really were just hoping for everyone to have a lot of fun with it all.”
There was also a luminary walk, where students donated two dollars and wrote names of loved ones on luminary bags. The names were of those who are fighting cancer, who have beaten cancer, or have lost their lives to cancer.
“This year especially, we saw a lot of collaborating between Student Government Association, Future Business Leaders of America, and Key Club,” Tshudy expresses. “It was so nice to see everyone in Leadership working together for the kids.”
In the days before Mini-THON, Leadership instructor and IHS English teacher Devon Duffy gave a motivational talk to the students, instructing them to remember the reasons they had gathered that night.
“So maybe in thirty years, she said, we could see it on the news, that a cure for cancer has been found, and remember that we were a part of it,” Tshudy mentions.
“It was so inspiring,” Bajwa adds, describing the boost it gave each of them, and how it moved so many.
Visit fourdiamonds.org for more information on the charity and the cause, or to donate. Thanks to the many volunteers, sponsors, and donors, and participants, we can let hope shine.
[Photo by Dylan Kane]
Photo caption: The four teams representing the colors of the Four Diamonds Fund all participated in this year’s Mini-THON event organized by the IHS Leadership Seminar class.