Alpha Eta Phi at DeSales hosted a Mini THON for Four Diamonds. Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) and have been making a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families for more than 20 years. THON is a 46-hour dance marathon that takes place every February at Pennsylvania State University with the purpose of raising money and providing emotional support to children and families in order to combat pediatric cancer. The money that is raised is donated to The Four Diamonds Fund, a charity devoted to defeating pediatric cancer through research and caring for patients at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

Mini THON 2 How did the idea for Mini-THON come about?

Each semester we survey the brotherhood to determine which types of service opportunities they would be interested in for next the next semester. Thankfully, Mini THON (MT) was one idea brought up. Many of the brothers actually participated in MT in high school, so their experience was a plus as well!

How was the idea made possible, and who helped?

MT had four co-chairs: Leslie Myers, Amanda Kaschak, Emily Ciaramella, and Nicole Venutso. We also created six committees composed of volunteer brothers. This could not have been done without the help of Jaime Gerhart our advisor, Vicky Gaffney and Matt, Tracy and Nick, Linnae Budsky and Lyndsay Driscoll, just to name a few.

Tell me a little about the fundraisers leading up to Mini-THON?

Prior to MT we had two fundraisers to raise additional funds and awareness. The first fundraiser was Thonahue, put on by the staff of Donahue. They made pancakes and took donations. This event raised $60 For Pie in the Face, we had several awesome participants take pies in the face to raise funds for MT. this event raised $125!

Alpha Pi Omega’s goal was to raise $1,000. How much money was raised?

Our original goal was to raise 1,000. In the end, we raised 2,864.52. We are continuing to take donations through June 1, 2017, and would love to hit $3000!

How do students raise money? What was the highest amount raised from a student?

Most student asked friends, family, and coworkers to donate. Our highest student fundraiser was Allison Krall with $300.

How many students attended?

We had 93 registered participants which included students from DeSales, Kutztown, and Cedar Crest.

What was the energy like throughout the night? How many students made it until 8 am?

The energy that night was incredible- everyone was invigorated throughout the night. Without looking at the clock, you never would have known it was 3 or 4 in the morning. Even as people got tired, we had an amazing group to keep spirits up and remind us that we were doing it for the kids!

What activities could students to do at Mini-THON?

We had hourly competitions like life sized hungry hungry hippo, food, bake sale, branded merchandise, and of course dancing.

What was your favorite thing about Mini-THON?

My favorite thing about MT was seeing the vision turned into a reality. The moment the final total was revealed, all of the hard work paid off. Not only did we exceed our goal, but through our efforts we are able to help the life of a child affected by this monstrous disease. Even if one child’s life is affected by our contribution, all of our work paid off.

Will Mini-THON become an annual event at DeSales? If so, would there be anything that needs to be changed or improved?

We are hoping to make MT an annual event and move it to the fall semester. We are currently working on collecting suggestions for improvements including the possibility of the timing, length, and activities planned. The main improvement to be accomplished is more advertising and participation.

What did we miss?

I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped, planned, or participated in this event. None of the success could have be done without you! As Four Diamonds says: “One day we will dance in celebration, until then we Mini THON 2will dance for a cure”.

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