Kutztown Area High School Student Council held their 4th annual Mini-THON on Friday, Feb. 16 to Saturday, Feb. 17. More than 40 high school students attended the 12-hour overnight dance marathon benefitting cancer research.

Mini-THON is a smaller version of Penn State’s THON and is typically done by high schools in Pennsylvania. THON, as well as Mini-THON, raises money for the Four Diamonds fund, supporting children and families fighting childhood cancer.

The night was filled with games, music, activities, and, of course, lots of dancing. A DJ played music nonstop for 12 hours, and students were able to play new games scheduled every hour.

The night began with Kutztown High senior and cancer survivor Nikolette Nolte talking about how the Four Diamonds fund positively affects pediatric cancer patients and their families. Nolte said how thankful she and her family was to all the students participating in Mini-THON because they truly do have an impact on people’s lives.

Madison Sheetz, a senior at Kutztown, and this year’s Student Council President and Mini-THON head, spoke passionately about how Mini-THON impacts children and families affected by pediatric cancer.

“I think Mini-THON is important because it brings awareness to Kutztown of the severity of childhood cancer. Leading up to Mini-THON students are asking for donations and fundraising as much as they can to earn the most possible for the Four Diamonds. At Mini-THON, students at Kutztown High School are united in staying awake all throughout the night and not sitting in honor of all the children fighting cancer who cannot stand all night long.”

Sheetz, who has been involved with Kutztown’s Mini-THON since her freshman year, has spent countless hours, along with her fellow Student Council members, making sure the event is perfect for all involved.

“Student Council and myself have had to work with administration, teachers, and janitors to ensure everything is set up and Mini-THON can run smoothly. We start working right after homecoming ends, which is around October, and begin planning the Mini-THON kickoff where Nikolette Nolte spoke and told us her story of fighting childhood cancer,” said Sheetz. “Along with Hannah Sanders, who is also a senior Mini-THON head, the student council works very hard from October to February on decorations, fundraisers, and helping students sign up and participate.”

Kelly Mahoney, the Student Council advisor and physics teacher at Kutztown High, was very pleased with the efforts of her Student Council members, as well as with the students at Kutztown.

“Overall, I think Mini-THON was a success. We were able to raise over $5,800 for cancer research, and students had a great time dancing, playing sports, and playing board and video games during the 12-hour event,” Mahoney said. “The day of Mini-THON, most Student Council members did not go home. Instead, they stayed to help set up and decorate for Mini-THON.”

In the past four years, Kutztown Area School District has raised more than $55,000 for the Four Diamonds fund to provide hope and support to children and families fighting childhood cancer.

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