Elizabethtown Area High School will hold its 11th annual Mini-Thon this year on March 8-9, 2019, to benefit the Four Diamonds. Mini-Thon is a student-run organization that plans fundraising events during the school year that culminates with a 12-hour dance marathon at the high school patterned after Penn State’s Thon. This year’s fundraising goal for EAHS has increased from $85,000 to $90,000. Seniors Allyson DeBerry, Marena Lonardi, and Sami Shutt are cochairs for the student-led philanthropic initiative.
The slogan for this year is “One Small Step for E-Town, One Giant Leap for a Cure.” Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 8, student dancers participate in competitions, dance, sing, play games all night, while standing and patiently waiting for the final fundraising reveal at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 9. Last year, EAHS exceeded its goal of $85,000 with 100 percent of the money raised donated to the Four Diamonds Fund to support Pediatric Cancer research and help families of children with cancer take care of medical costs. Four Diamonds-sponsored families never see a cancer related medical bill during treatment through Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey.
Elizabethtown Area High School invites families and the community to come share this life-changing experience of Mini-Thon during Community Hours from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, March 8. Adults may enter during Community Hours for a donation of $5, students $3, and children 6 and under will be free. Four Diamonds Families are invited to attend as our honorary guests. The donation fee goes towards our fundraising goal. Fun games, activities, music and dancer antics will get everyone excited to crush cancer. The EAHS Mini-Thon Committee also encourages people to purchase lanterns to commemorate someone they know affected by cancer. Community Hours conclude with a Lights of Hope Luminary Ceremony where all the lantern names will be read. Each lantern is a reminder of how many lives have been touched by this disease. Elizabethtown Area High School Mini-Thon committee hopes that community members join us in Daubert Gymnasium as students dance for a cure and to support this life-changing cause.
The greater Elizabethtown community can support this worthwhile cause in a number of ways:
• Make a donation
• Becoming a sponsor
• Purchasing a “Light of Hope” lantern
• Attending Community Hours
Mini-Thon is especially unique to Elizabethtown because several years ago an 11 year-old boy named Chris Millard, from the Elizabethtown Area Middle School was diagnosed with cancer. While battling, this boy wrote a story about a brave knight who had to conquer a challenging quest using Courage, Wisdom, Strength and Honesty to help him overcome the evil sorceress. These characteristics are what Chris believed were needed to overcome cancer. Unfortunately, sometimes even the strongest of knights lose their battle. Cancer took its toll and sadly took Chris’ life. However he has become an inspiration to so many. In honor of him, the Millard family shared his story creating the Four Diamonds to assist and show the families that they are not alone.
Started in 1973, the Four Diamonds has grown into the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. In addition to paying bills, the Fund also assists families in every way possible including music therapy, meal vouchers, and taking families to Thon events. In addition, 70% of all funds raise dgoes to research and finding a cure to pediatric cancer. One of the first patients to ever benefit from the Four Diamonds fund forty years ago was from a family here in Elizabethtown. That patient is now a physician.