By: Michele DiPasquale
We all know what marathons are, long-distance runs or bike rides, or contests to test stamina; marathons can be so long and drawn out that even the spectators get tired, let alone the contestants. But now, there is the mini-thon, which is more time-concentrated and much more fun to watch as well as to participate in. The term “mini-thon” began at revered Penn State University, which pioneered the mini-thon as part of the Penn State Dance Marathon, one of the largest student-run philanthropic organizations in the U.S., in which all proceeds go to fund the fight against pediatric cancer.
Proudly, Roxbury High School presents their own mini-thon, welcoming students and community members to support and cheer for dancers as they swing all night to battle pediatric cancer, beginning Friday, March 15th from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the RHS gymnasium. Funds raised during this event will be donated to the Four Diamonds, a non-profit organization, which supports cancer research and covers medical bills for families, as well as cancer research. Four Diamonds covers 100 percent of all medical expenses related to cancer care which is not covered by insurance.
Students will raise funds by participating in a night of no sitting and no sleeping, as everyone literally stands for the cause. The Roxbury High School mini-thon includes food, entertainment, games, and more. Last year, RHS raised $78,578, with 500 students participating. Students are encouraged to register right away to ensure a spot for this memorable event, as more than 400 students are already pre-registered, including students from neighboring districts who want to help.
“Students will be taking a stand overnight to support the fight against pediatric cancer. The purpose is to increase our impact through greater involvement, as well as show our support to families who are going through these difficult times,” shared Mike Gottfried, Key Club co-advisor and overseer of the mini-thon.
District students and community members wishing to cheer on the dancers are invited to the official kick-off at 7 p.m. and are welcome to stay until 11 p.m. At that time, all students and guests will be asked to work their way towards the doors as only those who are pre-registered will be allowed to stay overnight.
“During their time standing (and awake), we’ll have a kick-off where a student who had cancer shares their story,” Gottfried said. “There will be a DJ, live bands – including a few student bands and faculty guest performances – and student dance performances between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Every hour we’ll have a student-led line dance, and feature ‘Color Wars’ where students will compete in teams in various games and events. Around 6:00 a.m. there’s Zumba, and we’re feeding our students three meals throughout the mini-thon.”
The Roxbury High School mini-THON has raised more than $39,900 over the past three years and RHS is sure that number will continue to grow. Students and the community can donate online at www.fourdiamonds.donordrive.com.