by Theresa Schuetz

GS Mini-THON members attending Penn States THON. Photo submitted by: Mr. Matthew Boe

On March 25th, Greensburg Salem High School’s annual Mini-THON will be taking place to aid in the fight against pediatric cancer.

According to Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Care Center, cancer affects about 16,000 kids each year and according to AARP, treatment costs an average of $150,000. The National Cancer Institute states that out of the children afflicted with pediatric cancer, 1 in 5 are already living in poverty and are unable to pay for hospital bills, so Mini-THON fights to reduce these costs.

“Coming out of Mini-THON, I hope we raise a lot of money for the families and children affected by pediatric cancer, so no family has to pay a bill and so a cure can be found,” senior Madelyn Andolina said.

GS alumna Elsa Breakey started Mini-THON in 2015 to help fund Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Care Center after being inspired by Penn State’s THON.

“Having gone to Penn State I was kind of bouncing around the idea of bringing a replication of what they did to Greensburg Salem and it just kind of seemed to match Elsa’s vision,” history teacher Mr. Matthew Boe said.

Mini-THON is a fundraising event that consists of standing for 12 hours from 7 pm to 7 am. But it’s not just standing there; attendees play games with peers, dance and have a great time with friends.

“This year we have planned a few new games and brought back a few classics,” senior Sam Spigarelli said.

It is also open to the community from 7 pm to 10 pm. Community members are welcome to bring their children and introduce them into the tradition that has been built for the past eight years.

“I think it is the best community event that we have,” Co-Principal Mr. Adam Jones said.

 GS’ Mini-THON hosts many smaller fundraisers in the community and the school leading up to the main event. Some of those fundraisers include Doughnuts with Santa, No Shave November, Paint and Sip and more.

“My favorite of this year that this team came up with is the Doughnuts with Santa,” Mr. Boe said.

The Mini-THON team has been working hard to put together this event and many smaller events they hosted throughout the year. They have also reached out to businesses to obtain sponsorships to help with funding Four Diamonds.

“I have reached out to multiple businesses to sponsor Mini-THON and donate money to us,” Andolina said. “I also have organized painting sponsor banners and have reached out to businesses for food donations.”

Mini-THON is always welcoming volunteers for any of the many events they host throughout the year.

“The easiest way to get involved is to come to Mini-THON community hours on March 25th from 7-10 pm,” Spigarelli said. “It is free and open to the public. There you can speak with Mini-THON members and learn when we will hold more events. We always welcome more volunteers. Additionally, we post all of our activities and meeting dates on Instagram.”

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