BY JENNIFER BRICE – The night of March 23 marked the 10th annual IHS Mini-THON, a philanthropic event that benefits the fight against pediatric cancer by donating to the Four Diamonds Fund. Students remained on their feet for six hours of the night to symbolize the relentless battle faced by children affected by illness. This year, the IHS community came together to raise a donation that totaled over $27,000 by the end of the night.
The Four Diamonds Fund supports Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, combatting the effects of pediatric cancer by paying for treatments and research. Mini-THON at IHS contributed to the Four Diamonds Fund by reaching out to local sponsors, selling t-shirts, collecting spare change, going door-to-door throughout neighborhoods, selling luminary bags, and even cooking for teachers.
After months of hard work, fundraising efforts culminated in the six-hour event on Friday, March 23. Students celebrated with activities like volleyball, quiz bowl, relay, and tug-of-war competitions between the four teams. Every hour, the teams united to enthusiastically sing “The THON Song,” which was composed to both entertain and motivate the dancers.
There was also time for reflection on the meaning behind mini-THON. A luminary walk featured the names of beloved community members affected by cancer, and speakers shared their personal experiences battling pediatric cancer.
Junior Ella Spadafora shared that these talks were the best part of the night because, “We got to see the difference Four Diamonds is making in real people.” Gema Nievas, a sophomore, agreed adding, “It was very emotional.”
Mini-THON is orchestrated by the seniors of Leadership Seminar, under the advising of IHS English teacher Leadership Seminar adviser Devon Duffy and social studies teacher Matt Neil. Allison Ream, a member of the event’s advertising committee expressed that, “It was very rewarding to see our hard work pay off.”
The students put significant effort into fundraising and planning in order to make the event successful and meaningful for everyone in attendance.
[Photo by Hannah Uschock]
[Photo caption: Members of the IHS Leadership Seminar revealed the donation total at the end of the night, which will benefit the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.]