Lower Moreland’s MINI-THON funds cancer research
Hundreds of Lower Moreland High School students danced, cheered and competed in hopes of curing pediatric cancer during the school’s annual fundraiser miniTHON Nov. 16.
Similar to the Penn State University THON, where students stay on their feet for 24 hours to raise money for pediatric cancer research, Lower Moreland High School’s mini-THON keeps students moving and on their feet for 12 hours to raise money for the Four Diamonds Club, which financially supports families with children who have cancer and helps fund research for pediatric cancer. This is the sixth mini-THON the high school has held.
“I dance in hopes that my children won’t have to do this,” senior co-captain Jeremy Geiger said. “We always say the best THON will be when we don’t have it because that means we’ve found a cure.”
“Everyone knows someone with cancer,” senior co-captain Jake Cohen said. “This is something everyone can relate to and they want to support.”
Students from all grades in the high school were invited to participate and raise money for mini-THON. In addition, Cohen said, they held several community events to help raise money, such as creating and running a haunted house during the Halloween season, and hosting a Bertucci’s night, where the local Bertucci’s restaurant donated 50 percent of its proceeds to mini-THON.
“What better way to bring the community together,” co-advisor and Lower Moreland High School teacher Leslie Needleman said. “We really admire what Penn State does.”
“YRu FDQ’W fiQG D EHWWHU FDuVH WKDQ KHOSing children with cancer,” co-advisor and Lower Moreland High School teacher Seth Baron said. “[The students] inspire each other.”
During mini-THON students compete in various events such as the limbo, Twister, name that movie, an obstacle course and volleyball. The big competi- tion of the night is the grades dance off in the evening, where dance teams from each grade compete against each other. Additionally, students who participate in miniTHON are required to do the line dances each hour, which recount events over the last year and are led by alternating groups from each grade. Also at night is the family hour, where families of children the Four Diamonds Club has helped tell their stories to students and community members.
“It reminds people amid all the fun why we’re here,” Geiger said. “It’s the biggest hour [event].”
This year, Needleman and Baron said with more than 400 students participating they hoped to raise more than $60,000 and beat last year’s total funds raised. At WKH HQG RI WKH QLJKW WKHy UHvHDOHG WKH fiQDO count of $82,481.81 raised for the Four Diamonds Club.
“Our motto is FTK — it’s for the kids,” Geiger said about why he thinks everyone comes together for the event. “I’ve known countless children with cancer. It could easily have been us.”
Freshman Lauren Killion gives classmate Gina Marorana a piggy-back ride during mini-THON Nov. 16.