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Mini-THON 2019 - "Red Raiders Put Up A Fight"

MEYERSDALE - In just three years, students in the Meyersdale Area School District have raised approximately $25,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Sponsored by the Meyersdale High School National Honor Society chapter, the fourth annual Red Raider Mini-THON is scheduled for March 7-8, 2019.


“This year’s theme is ‘Red Raiders Put Up a Fight,’ as in Raiders putting up a fight for those battling now, for those who survived, for those who will battle, and for those taken too soon,” explained Elise Hutzell, NHS President. “Black and gold, the colors representing the fight against pediatric cancer, coincides with the NHS organization theme as well.”


Mini-THON is modeled after THON at Penn State, the world's largest student-run philanthropic event. THON was organized in 1973 and has since raised over $150 million. Four Diamonds Mini-THON®s are fun-filled events for students of all ages that inspire teamwork, leadership and creativity, while empowering young people through philanthropy and service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer. 


Members of NHS have been “canning” or soliciting donations at sporting events during the Fall and Winter seasons. Members also hosted a Mini-THON event prior to the Christmas Break - a cornhole tournament!


According to Mrs. Jessica Deakins, NHS advisor, the cornhole tournament boasted 46 teams. Members also sold concessions for this event. National Honor Society provided a number of concession items, such as buffalo chicken dip, nachos, chicken nuggets, walking tacos, pizza, desserts, and soda.


In total, $1,000 was raised in just a few hours. This money will go toward the fundraising goal of $10,000.


Mini-THON 2019 will be held on March7- 8, and members have been working hard to create a series of activities that will generate excitement and enthusiasm for their efforts. Activities have been planned for all three branches of the school district.


“We have set a goal of $10,000 for our 2019 THON, but I am confident that we can exceed that goal,” added Deakins. “I think this campaign has the potential to be more successful than last year, but it takes a village. It’s really like running a small business for a month; it takes so much time and real effort, but I think that if we all pull together, we can make 2019 a record setting year.”


Currently, a coin drive in under way in the elementary school. Students are asked to bring in any spare pennies or change to be donated to the Four Diamonds Fund. The classroom raising the most money will be treated to a special pizza party. This fundraising effort will continue through February 15. A reward dance for participation will be held March 7 for MAES.

The Meyersdale Area Middle School will join the fun with a dance during the morning hours of Friday, March 8. Students will have the opportunity to dance and to compete in a variety of skill challenges and activities.

The main event of Red Raider THON 2019 will be held during the afternoon of March 8, when Meyersdale High School students will enjoy an afternoon filled with activities such as tug of war, DJ challenges, rap battles and other activities. Attendees are asked to make a donation in order to participate.

During THON events, NHS students will be selling a wide array of THON souvenirs and gear, including bam bams, necklaces, bags, headbands, light sticks, buttons, lanyards, keychains and much more.

A full menu of concession items, including pizza, chicken tenders, hot dogs, nachos, buffalo chicken dip, baked goods, ice cream sundaes, iced coffee, candy and chips will also be offered throughout the day. Adrienne Vogt, advisor for the Family and Consumer Science Club, and club members offer their expertise and assistance in preparing the delicious food selections.  Student Council, the Leos, and FBLA members volunteer at several stations.  All proceeds from souvenirs and concessions will benefit THON.

“I believe our school runs Mini-THON in a wonderful way,” added Wes Caton, NHS Treasurer. “We are able to raise money for a great cause and everyone gets to have fun while raising that money!”

Businesses and private individuals may also make donations online at  Checks can be made payable to Four Diamonds. All donations are due no later than March 8.

Mini-THON events are widely supported throughout the district and the community. According to Deakins, the Meyersdale American Legion Post 112 has already donated $400 to THON 2019. It is this type of widespread support that makes the annual Red Raider Mini-THON such a great success. NHS members are working diligently to include more local businesses and organizations in their efforts to support THON.


Mini-THON events are held in 265 elementary, middle, and highs schools and colleges in eight states, raising more than $6.46 million dollars during the 2016-2017 school year alone. Meyersdale Area High School Mini-THON® 2018 participants are joining more than 90,000 students in a powerful movement to conquer childhood cancer. 


In the U.S., more children die from cancer than from any other disease, with 16,000 kids diagnosed every year. But Four Diamonds is working to change this reality with their mission to conquer childhood cancer through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research. Approximately 600 children with cancer are treated each year, and events like THON and Mini-THONS raise funds to cover 100% of the costs for those children's medical bills. Of the 43 children diagnosed with cancer every day, 12% do not survive.  Four Diamonds supports more than 80 pediatric oncology research professionals who are learning more about how cancer forms, how it can be treated, and how treatments can be more effective.


“While many students at Meyersdale are typically categorized in their own classes and schedules, Mini-THON is an opportunity for the student body to come together,” Hutzell added. “I believe Mini-THON is a way to bring students, teachers, community members and local businesses together in support of a great cause,” said Hutzell.


Members of Meyersdale National Honor Society include: (front row) Sydney Deist, Kasie Campbell, Bryia Swick, Cassandra Summy, Rylee Weaver and Emily Karlie; and (back row) Elise Hutzell, President; Shawna Leonard, Kylee Wilt, Nadia Minnick, Briannah McKinney, Grace Oakes,  Annabella McKenzie, Secretary; Gracen Miller, Wes Caton, Treasurer; and Brody Sanner. Vice President. Glory Canfield, Caitlin Miller, Scott Yutzy, Kirk Eberly, Emma Sines and Zachary Miller were absent for the photo.