Lower More­land’s MINI-THON funds can­cer re­search

The Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

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.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia staff photo / SCOTT RO­MAN

Fresh­man Lauren Killion gives class­mate Gina Maro­rana a piggy-back ride dur­ing mini-THON Nov. 16.

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