Something incredible is happening at Stroudsburg High School. Students are raising thousands of dollars to help children battling cancer. They’re donating their time, talents, and dance moves for a cure. Mini-THON: hundreds of students, twelve hours, one mission.

So what exactly is Mini-THON? Let’s go back to where it all began – Penn State University. If you know anything about Penn State, you’ve probably heard of THON – the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Year after year, Penn Staters spend the year raising funds leading up to an epic dance marathon. The money raised through THON benefits Four Diamonds, an organization whose mission is to “conquer childhood cancer by assisting children and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.” In an effort to get even more students involved, Mini-THON was born. Today, hundreds of schools around the country host their own Mini-THONs, all with the same mission.

In 2014, Stroudsburg High School hosted its first Mini-THON, and the dedication of the participants is something you have to see to believe. As if studying for exams and learning to drive isn’t enough, students are devoting themselves to a truly selfless cause. But of all the extracurricular activities, why Mini-THON? “You don’t choose Mini-THON; Mini-THON chooses you. Once it does, you realize there’s nothing you would rather do. We are conquering childhood cancer and there is no better feeling,” says Jasmine Dey, SHS Junior and Overall Executive. In addition to the hundreds who dance, a leadership team works tirelessly all year long to raise money and ensure the final event goes off without a hitch.

Last year, students at SHS raised a staggering $100,292.80. After spending 12 hours on her feet, SHS Senior and Overall Executive, Kelsey DeSchriver, recalls the emotional moment of the big reveal. “The one word that comes to mind is hope. When I found out how much money we raised, I immediately flashed back to the time I spent in the hospital. I imagined all of the sad faces turning to smiles. I imagined those bald-headed patients becoming strong, future dancers.”
This year’s Mini-THON is set for May 11 and students are aiming for the $100,000 mark. But regardless of the dollars and cents held up at the end of the night, one thing is certain: participants will have learned priceless lessons in empathy and philanthropy.

For more information about Stroudsburg High School’s Mini-THON or to donate, visit sburgminithon.com. For business sponsorships, contact Mini-THON Co-Advisor Jamie Bowman at jbowman@sburg.org.

By: Jamie Bowman