KENNETT SQUARE—An alarming number of families in the United States are affected by childhood cancer: 16,000 children are diagnosed every year. In fact, one in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before their twentieth birthday.
Four Diamonds established Mini-THON as a way for high school students to join the fight against pediatric cancer. Based on Penn State University’s THON, Mini-THON has over 90,000 student volunteers in over 265 schools. Last year, students in elementary, middle, and high schools raised more than 7.2 million dollars to support pediatric cancer patients and their families and to fund groundbreaking research at the Penn State Medical Center in Hershey.
Kennett High School has participatecd in Mini-THON for the past four years, raising over $150,000.
This year’s Mini-THON will be held on Friday, Feb. 21, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The carnival-themed event will consist of games, food, crafts, music, Zumba, yoga, sports, and other fun activities. Individual students raise money from friends and family who pledge to support their eight-hour commitment. Currently, this year’s top fundraiser is junior Zara Quraishi who has already raised almost $4,000.
The Kennett Mini-THON would not be possible without the generous contributions from the Kennett community. Each year, restaurants donate food, merchants provide items for raffles, donation cans are set up at local businesses, and corporate and organizational sponsors allow the Kennett Mini-THON to successfully reach its fundraising goals while helping young adults develop as leaders with strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
Faculty advisors for the event are Lisa Teixeira, KHS librarian and Humanitarian Club moderator, and Shawn Duffy, social studies teacher and Humanitarian Club assistant moderator. Student organizers are led by senior event co-chairs Ashley Willey and Ian Dargitz, along with underclass chairs Grace Pruitt, Gavin Maxwell, and Emma Henderson, along with returning alumnus Michael Bellino.
“I am incredibly honored and grateful for the opportunity to work with the dedicated students, faculty, and administrators at Kennett High School as we strive together to combat pediatric cancer," Teixera said. "Our group seeks to not only raise money for Four Diamonds but to provide the community, in and out of school, with a framework for unity, inclusiveness, and fun."
Event co-chair Ian Dargitz said, “Volunteering for Mini-THON has the potential to change the lives of children with pediatric cancer. But my life has been changed through this experience, too. I will take the lessons from Mini-THON with me always.”
Co-chair Ashley Willey added, “Our inspiration comes from the kids and knowing how hard they fight every day. We would not be able to achieve all that we do without our community supporters, and we are eternally grateful for them.”
For a recommended donation of $5 per family, members of the Kennett community are invited to the Reynolds Gymnasium from 7 p.m.to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 21, for a peek at the Mini-THON event. Faculty and student organizers are excited to welcome everyone to share in the fun and support a very worthy cause during our community hour.
If you cannot attend the Mini-THON community open house but would still like to make a donation, please visit the KHS Mini-THON page at https://fourdiamonds.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=2657, search “Kennett High School donor drive,” or call the school at 610-444-6617 for more information.