"For The Kids" is the motto embraced by Penn State and South Williamsport Area High School students alike.
After spending the weekend at Penn State University's THON held each year at the Bryce Jordan Center, South Williamsport students held the countdown to miniTHON assembly to energize the rest of the student-body for the school's second annual miniTHON.
Modeled after Penn State's 46 hour dance marathon to combat childhood cancer, South Williamsport joined high schools around the state last year in holding a scale version of the event.
South Williamsport Area High School held a countdown to miniTHON assembly in February to prepare for the event main this month. Pictured from left are Jen Jackson, chair; Rebekah Fries, Christina Furister, Four Diamonds survivor; and Ryan Carper, student adviser.
At 7 p.m. March 22, students will begin "dancing for a cure" for 12 hours to aid in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Last year, through the support of individual and corporate donors, South Williamsport students raised $18,169.99 for the Four Diamonds Fund, which benefits children and families fighting pediatric cancer at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.
MiniTHON chair Rebekah Fries has taken the lead heading up this year's event.
Sh her committee have raised more than $3,000 by canning at sporting events and hope to reach an overall goal of $25,000 for this year's event.
Fries and others attended this year's THON at Penn State, which raised a record $12, 374,034.46. The students said the experience was amazing and they hope to bring that same level of excitement and dedication to South Williamsport High School that students at Penn State have.
The Four Diamonds Fund provides funding for medical research, patient treatment and family resourcing.
There are several Four Diamond families from the Williamsport area that can testify to the overwhelming support provided by The Four Diamonds Fund.
Last year the Snyder family of Williamsport helped kick things off for South Williamsport Area High School's first ever miniTHON.
This year, Williamsport native Christina Furister spoke to students at the high school about her battle with pediatric cancer and the support of the Four Diamonds.
Furister said, "(my family and I) might not have made it through the struggle had it not been for the support of the Four Diamonds and it is students like you who keep hope alive in families battling the horrible disease today."
Furtister and her family also will be in attendance, along with the Snyder family, at this year's miniTHON.
The 12-hour event will include music, live bands, Zumba sessions with instructors, bounce houses, food, games, prizes and dancing.
Opening ceremonies will kickoff at 7 p.m. by the trumpet section of the Penn State Nittany Lion Blue Band.
At that point students will begin dancing and will not be permitted to sit down or stop dancing for twelve hours.
The reason: "Dance for those who can't." The purpose: "For The Kids!"
The event itself is limited to students and alumni, but financial and gift-in-kind support will be accepted.
Donations can be made to "South Williamsport HS Student Council -memo: miniTHON" and be sent to SWAHS 700 Percy St., South Williamsport, PA 17702.
Advertising is available for businesses wishing to partner in the cause.
For more information about miniTHON, contact Ryan Carper at 326-2684 ext. 3212 or email rcarp firstname.lastname@example.org