Mini-Thon in its fourth year at Bellefonte Area High School
By Brit Milazzo
Public relations, BASD
In its fourth year at Bellefonte Area High School, mini-Thon will be hosted 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 24 with a goal to raise $9,000. The event mimics Penn State's IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, also known as Thon, and benefits the Four Diamonds fund, which supports families affected by childhood cancer.
To learn more about mini-Thon at BAHS, visit its social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram. To donate, visit this link: Donate here.
Other related events:
- Dodgeball tournament: Feb. 28
- Community outreach night: March 9 at The Field. 20 percent of proceeds will benefit mini-Thon.
- Quaker Stake and Lube: March 12. Proceeds will also benefit mini-Thon.
The district’s director of public relations had the chance to connect with student Selah Brown who heads up the event’s communication.
Question: How did mini-Thon at BAHS get started?
Answer: It started here because a lot of the members of student council grew up watching and had attended Penn State's Thon, so they all wanted to do a mini-Thon to give back and do something greater than themselves.
Q: How has it grown since its inception?
A: It's grown a lot since the beginning. I think it's grown in leadership most of all. In student council, I've seen so much growth in leadership and passion in our club. I wasn't involved the first year we did it, but for the past three years, the mini-Thon heads dream bigger and bigger, and get more and more excited about this. Every year, the majority of the heads are seniors, and when they leave, the underclassman always step up and lead their committees so well. In my opinion, this year's leadership is stronger and more united than I've ever seen.
Q: Is there anything new with the event this year?
*Note: Nothing is finalized until the day of the event
A: There's a lot new with the event this year. We are planning on having a live band or bands, a VIP room featuring catered food and more, and a community hour. This is our newest and biggest outreach we are adding. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the whole community is welcome to come out and participate. Two of our heads, Katilyn Berkey and Nathan Taylor, went to a mini-Thon summit last year and saw that a lot of schools have ways their community can get involved, so they wanted to incorporate that into ours. We will be having a pep rally during that time where, hopefully, the sports teams and maybe clubs will participate in dance offs. We'll also be having music and a very loved and special guest, Kennedy. Our representative head, Mackenzie Ebeling, has a young cousin named Kennedy who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Kennedy has kind of become our heartbeat this year, because in everything we're doing this year we have a personal connection and a more tangible person to remind us why we're doing this. Kennedy and her family will, again hopefully, be coming to speak during this time.
Q: What is the goal to raise this year? How come upon this goal?
A: Our goal this year is $9,000, which is more money than we have ever raised before or really came close to raising. We decided to dream bigger this year and we believe the support and money will come. All we ask is that the community and Bellefonte dream big with us! We don't have any other specific goals for this year other than growth. I think if we had a word for this year’s mini-Thon, it would be growth. We hope that this event would be well known throughout our student body and community. We want everyone to be excited about it and look forward to it every year.
Q: Explain all the planning that goes into hosting this event.
A: Student council puts on mini-Thon every year. Our advisers this year are Ms. (Jennifer) Richardson and Mrs. (Heather) Huntsinger. We also have eight mini-Thon head positions, and under those heads, the rest of student council will join as committee members. An entire year of planning goes into this event. Student council also puts on homecoming so once the school year begins, we start planning homecoming right away. After homecoming, we go into full (mini-Thon) planning mode. Not only do we have to plan for the event, all the food, entertainment, music, etcetera, but there is so much leading up to the event due to the charity aspect of it. We go around canning to businesses, have to promote like crazy from a public relations aspect, have to plan events leading up to the event in hopes to spark interest and get continual support. It's a lot, but we have great people working to make it great.
Q: What ways do students raise money for Four Diamonds?
A: Students have to pay to get into the event, and if they want to get in early, there is an extra cost. We also give out donation sheets and ask the students to raise money on their own. Also, we have a donor drive this year, so we are hoping more people will donate through that. We are also hosting a Jar Wars where in every homeroom, jars are placed and students will put money into it. The homeroom with the most money will win something. (The prize will be announced at a later date).
Q: Explain what it means to be a part of something like this that helps so many.
A: Being part of something like this simply feels good. I believe I can speak on behalf of all of student council and our committee heads -- it feels so good to be a part of something greater. High school can be one of those things were you just get so wrapped up in day-to-day routine, going through the motions, hoping for summer. ... Being able to plan this helps get out of that routine. Knowing that we are leading something that brings people together and raises money for such a great cause is awesome, and we are all so lucky and humbled to be part of it.