Mini-THON: Dancing for a Cure


Avery Clifford

Advisor Jacob Smith and PSECU representative Karen Rousche at the 2018-2019 Mini-THON event. The event will be held in March this year and they will be holding a series of events throughout the year to benefit The Four Diamonds Fund. PSECU is one of State High Mini-THON’s main sponsors and is very passionate about the cause along with the students.

Avery Clifford, Staff Writer

Dancing for 12 hours sounds like a lot of work, but students at State High prove how the cause makes every hour worth it.

Mini-THON has been at State High for three years now. This club is part of a nationwide movement to fight childhood cancer and raises money for the Four Diamond Fund. Four Diamonds is an organization that works with Hershey Medical Center to fund research. Every year at Penn State University, they hold a 46-hour dance marathon to benefit the same cause.

THON at Penn State was the inspiration for high school students all over the country to start their own. At State High, the club holds a 12-hour dance marathon.

The advisor of Mini-THON is Jacob Smith, a State High math teacher. He has been involved since the start when a student named Carrie Little reached out to some of her teachers with a goal to start Mini-THON at the high school.

 “Mini-THON is about raising money for the Four Diamond for pediatric cancer research. [Mini-THON] helps to educate the community on the effects [cancer has] on family and friends,” Smith said. He decided to take the role as an advisor when he heard of the cause and how passionate Little was about Four Diamonds.

The current Executive Officer of Mini- THON is Abby Grunwald,  a senior at State High. Grunwald has been involved with the program since middle school. She is very passionate about the cause and plays a very large role in its success. Smith and Grunwald work hand and hand with the school administration to create a supportive and safe environment for the club’s events and fundraisers.

 “I choose to Mini-THON to support the children and their families that are fighting cancer. I want to make a difference in their lives. I participate in THON for my grandfather who passed away in April from the side-effects of cancer treatment. He was always a fighter and it showed; he pushed through every treatment,” senior Eireni Parides the current fundraising overall said.

“Mini-THON raises money throughout the year to donate to Four Diamonds. We accomplish this through multiple fundraisers,” Grunwald said. Mini-THON holds a series of events throughout the year to raise money, such as Stall Day, and a Duck Donuts Fundraiser. They plan throughout the year for their main event, which is a 12-hour dance marathon where the club holds a series of games and host speakers.

 By participating in this event or planning fundraisers with the club you can earn community service hours. The fundraising goal of Mini-THON this year is $15,000. 

“Cancer treatment is one of the most expensive treatments in the United States and being a part of Mini-THON means you can help families avoid having to pay for it alone,” Grunwald said.

If you want to Mini-THON you can email the club at [email protected] or attend one of there meetings. They meet on Wednesdays from 4-5pm in room B118.