By: Ryan Burkart and Sarah Danley
Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 15,780 children under the age of 19 who are diagnosed with cancer according to US-childhood-cancer-statistics. As a part of the Four Diamonds organization, run by Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, the Mini-THON organization at GS raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer.
“Mini-THON is a year-long project that is coordinated by five seniors and raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer,” Mr. Mathew Boe said.
This annual event at GS encouraged students to stand united against pediatric cancer while participating in various activities throughout the night, planned by senior leaders Mazzy Baxter, Taylor Carpellotti, Kylee Dahm, Emma Grimm and Hannah Visnick.
“We had community hours from seven to ten,” Mr. Boe said.
The rest of the night was only for high schoolers where the leaders planned color wars, glow wars, Zumba and the final reveal.
“Color Wars games include 9 Square in the Air, dodgeball, human foosball, Pictionary, Hungry Hungry Hippo and an obstacle course,” Boe said.
GS students who participated in Mini-THON received a t-shirt and were provided meals throughout the night of March 26.
“We also provide dinner and breakfast,” Mini-THON social media director senior Kylee Dahm said. “Dinner is pizza that we had donated, and breakfast is pancakes or cereal.”
Although Mini-THON was coordinated by five seniors for their senior project, all students could participate by helping to raise money.
“We will take any volunteers,” Dahm said. “Anyone in the GS community can join.”
The Mini-THON team garnered student support through monthly meetings held during the school day.
“Monthly meetings provided opportunities to get all students involved,” Boe said.
For many high schoolers, underclassmen especially, being involved in Mini-THON gave them an opportunity to become more active in many school activities.
“I was able to volunteer during events and get involved early in the year,” freshman Taylor Dale said. “It was a fun club to be a part of.”
Along with being involved with many events, many students joined this group to help raise money for the cause of helping children with cancer.
“I help with Mini-THON to help the kids,” Dale said.
Junior Cody Rubrecht began raising money for Mini-THON for the same reason.
“I wanted to help the kids and stand by them through everything,” Rubrecht said.
He met his goal and raised $250 for Mini-THON.
“I raised money by texting and emailing people about Mini-THON and politely asking them to pass on my name so other people could contact me asking to help raise money,” he said.
Although most of the support for Mini-THON came through student efforts, teachers and staff at the high school also worked to provide support for the cause.
“There is the support from the teachers, the entire staff really,” Boe said.
Outside of GS, the community also played an important role in the fundraising and sponsorship for the entire event.
“We raise money through our events, corporate sponsorships, and donor drive where students can get online donations from friends and family,” Dahm said.
Through all their efforts this year, GS Mini-THON raised $49,818.32 to go toward pediatric cancer research in the hopes of ending pediatric cancer one day.
“I’m very proud of all the hard work the team has put in this year, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of students, staff, administrators, our friends, families, and especially the community,” Dahm said.