By Eryn Cohen
A fun-filled night of dancing and games, Mini-Thon brings students together to join in the fight against pediatric cancer. 70,000 student volunteers in 235 schools hold Mini-THONs of their own, raising over $5.5 million towards the Four Diamonds Fund. Mini-THON promotes leadership, service, and collaboration as student committees work year round for this spirited night of charity and selflessness.
Upper Dublin has Lauren Pyfer and Mrs. McNamara to thank for bringing this philanthropic tradition to the high school. Inspired by the perseverance of a man and his pediatric cancer-stricken child involved with the Four Diamonds Fund, Lauren and Mrs. McNamara decided to localize the Penn State tradition of THON. And with the help of Mrs. McNamara and Mrs. Sachson, Lauren and an executive board consisting of five other students began the tradition that we have all come to know and love.
Now a sophomore at Lehigh University, Upper Dublin alumna Lauren Pyfer reflects, “After our first Mini-THON I never doubted that UD school would continue this tradition, and hoped that it would grow stronger each year. I could not have been prouder or more heart-warmed watching the new leaders at the 2nd Mini-THON put on a great event for a truly deserving cause. I cannot wait to see what is in store for UDHS Mini-THON 2016!”
So just what’s in store for UDHS Mini-THON 2016? Overall chairs Samantha Boas and Hannah Blank answer, “Look forward to tons of games like dodgeball, tug of war, basketball, life size Jenga, and ping pong in addition to face painting, tattoos, and henna. There will also be special performances from IDA (Institute of Dance Artistry), Step Team, and VOX. And of course, there will be dancing the whole night- zumba, line-dancing, even a glow-in-the-dark rave hour. At the end of the night, the final amount that Mini-THON raised will be displayed for all of the participants to see!”
The tens of thousands of dollars that Mini-THON has raised will go towards treating and caring for children at Penn State’s Children’s Hospital and supporting their families. Funds will also be allocated to the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center, whose mission is to improve treatments and cures to better the lives of childhood cancer victims.
In addition to the several hundred students, a number of UDHS faculty will be joining in on the fun, including Mrs. McNamara, Mrs. Sachson, Mr. Vandegrift, Mr. Tralie, Mrs. Mass, and Mr. Dell’Angelo. Fundraising Committee Chair Philip Dowdell explains another event to look forward to, “We’re going to have 4 teachers (Mrs. Sachson, Mr. Dell’Angelo, Mr. Tralie, and Mrs. Mass) lip sync to songs of their choosing with groups of three students as backup singers!”
If you’re still on the fence about going, sophomore Eden Astorino, who is currently on the Event Planning Committee, recalls her Mini-THON experience as a freshman last year, “Mini-THON was a fun and motivating event that really kicked off my high school experience! I danced and had a great time fighting for an incredible cause with my classmates and teachers beside me!”
Another student, junior Angelina Han, who is a current committee member of the School Improvements Committee and Fundraising Committee stated, “At the actual event last year, I walked in without knowing what to expect. Throughout the night we all danced— well everyone else danced while I tried. Regardless, I had an amazing time. I’ve witnessed the work and dedication that goes into this, and I think that will make this year’s event even more special for me. I’m really hype to see what the big ten have prepared for the night!”
Come out to the Upper Dublin High School main gym from 5:30 PM-10:30 PM this Saturday, November 19th to join in the festivities and help fight against pediatric cancer!