A year of preparation and fundraising paid off at the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Mini-THON, where students raised $32,503.44 to help fight pediatric cancer. 

PWHS students dancing in the gym with Making A Difference logo

“Unlike any other year, there was this buzz about how excited people were for Mini-THON and how ready they were for this event,” said PW senior Andrew Salkin, a Senior Head on the PW Mini-THON committee. “We really saw it come to fruition tonight.”

Modeled after Penn State’s THON, the PW Mini-THON kept students up all night with a variety of activities — including dancing, sports, karaoke, Family Feud, and a talent show — that changed every hour. 

“I think the most fun thing so far tonight was dodgeball,” said PW ninth grader Lyric Johnson. “I just like running around and laughing with my friends.”

A group of approximately 15 students, plus advisors Tom Rafferty and Sandy Comfort, coordinated the 12-hour event, which took place from 8 p.m. on Friday, May 20, to 8 a.m. on Saturday. They anticipated 200 participants but ran out of shirts early in the event with plenty of students continuing to arrive. 

“We were blown away by the amount of people that showed up and how many people have come to support Mini-THON,” said Andrew. “Everyone is having so much fun, participating in these activities, and really bringing the spirit. It's been a great time.”

While the bulk of the work is connected with the large Mini-THON event and ramps up starting in December, the committee continues its efforts year round. 

“Planning for next year’s Mini-THON starts as soon as we’re done with this year’s event,” said Mr. Rafferty. “We have a meeting, pat each other on the back, and congratulate each other on what we accomplished. Then we talk about what we can improve. Over the summer, we start organizing fundraisers for the fall.”

The money raised by the PW Mini-THON and other THON events around the state goes to the Four Diamonds Foundation to help children with cancer. Since its creation in 1972, Four Diamonds has helped more than 4,800 families and supported a diverse platform of pediatric cancer research at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine.

Check out more photos from the event: