J Bennington, Staff Writer

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Last Saturday, April 27th, Pennridge students joined over 90,000 students across the country in the fight against cancer.  Students and staff members Mr.Brown and Mrs.Schoettle designed an event filled day for students to have fun while raising money for a very impactful cause.  Partnered with Four Diamonds, a foundation that its sole purpose is fighting childhood cancer, as well as supporting families that must go through it, Pennridge named the event MiniTHON. MiniTHON is named after Penn State’s THON.  All proceeds raised will go to paying for Chemotherapy treatments and to further cancer research. Vowing to take a stand against childhood cancer, participants showed up to the door at 12:30, where they would stay standing till 10 o’clock at night.  

Where many might think the event would be somber, it is quite the opposite.  Even though students are fighting against something so tragic, they make the most of it.  One MiniTHON participant, Kionna Nestor, said that “it’s something good to do but also allows you to raise in a ‘fun way’”.  To start off the day, MiniTHON members teach participants a dance, which will be performed every hour, on the hour. The song consists of many pop songs, mashed together to always make you feel goofy and happy.  At the end of the dance, participants raise their hands in the shape of a diamond to symbolize another hour they stood against childhood cancer.

Each hour, there is a new activity in the white gym. For example, there was grade tug of war events, volleyball, dance competitions, and other fun, unique games, like steal the bacon.  If the big group events were not for you, the green gym was also open. In the green gym, they had games like Gaga Ball, Spikeball, and Nine Square. This is definitely where the majority of people spent their time.  The green gym allows you to play small games with your friends. They also had inflatables set up, so you weren’t limited to games. At around six, the green gym closed and the white gym hosted a lip sync battle. The lip sync battle was open to anyone to participate, and was definitely a highlight.  

After the battle, Pennridge MiniTHON hosted a fellow alumni, Lexi Bennington.  Lexi graduated in 2016, and attended Penn State for nursing. However, her sophomore year, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Since she was receiving treatment at Hershey medical center, she was eligible to be covered by Four Diamonds. Lexi went from participating and raising money in THON, to receiving those very same benefits they raised.  Pennridge MiniTHON asked her to speak and inspire students at the event, and she did. When asked about Four Diamonds, Lexi said “it’s a perfect example of how good deeds will result in good karma for you. I was once the fundraiser, and then the patient, and now I am the fundraiser again”.  At the end of the night, MiniTHON members revealed the total amount of money raised. Setting the goal at 45,000 dollars, participants broke that record and raised about 52,000. Completing their goal, and having just spent a day making memories, students went home feeling accomplished.