By JENNIFER BRICE — Brightly lining the halls of the high school, signs and flyers announce the arrival of Thon. March 23rd of 2018 will mark the tenth year of IHS Mini-Thon, an event based on Penn State’s 46-hour dance marathon, dedicated to raising money to help the Four Diamonds Fund for pediatric cancer.
The philanthropic tradition has become ingrained into our school’s culture and depends on the active participation of the student body for success.
Following Penn State’s example, Mini-Thon at IHS is student-run. Planning, advertising, and financing are executed by seniors participating in the Leadership Seminar. Their preparation culminates in a six-hour event enjoyed by students school-wide in which participants stay on their feet all night.
Emma Stossel, a senior and chair of the mini-Thon advertising committee, says that what she looks forward to most with her leadership role is, “Holding up the total at the end of the night because that is what makes all of our hard work worth it.”
The entire student body’s participation is integral to the event’s success. Everybody who signs up is asked to gather donations for their team’s fundraising, which will accumulate and contribute to the overall total revealed at the end of the night. The community of Indiana is also involved, and mini-Thon finance chair Becky Shellenbarger, also a senior, shares that, “Between the community members and small businesses who get involved, along with the change cups from team competitions, every small bit adds up.”
Anyone unfamiliar with the practice and meaning behind Thon is encouraged to sign up and attend on March 23rd. There, they will be immersed in a truly community-building experience. The night is packed with team activities, singing, dancing, and food, but more importantly, events such as a luminary walk and inspirational speaker highlight the motivation for the event: bringing awareness to the adversities faced by children with pediatric cancer and inspiring students to make a meaningful contribution to their fight.
Brandon Boyer, a junior at IHS, captures the spirit by sharing that what makes IHS Mini-Thon so meaningful is, “everyone coming together for a great cause and raising money for the kids.”
[Photo by Jordan Raible]
[Photo caption: Seniors Ally Brocious and Allison Ream, of the mini-Thon entertainment and advertising committees (respectively), bring attention to the event with a colorful poster.]