SLHS MiniTHON Committee Perseveres Despite the Pandemic


Arden Glad

Operation save MiniTHON: at Southern Lehigh it’s all for the kids.

“For the Kids” (FTK)is a motto that stands close to the hearts of the students and faculty who are part of Southern Lehigh’s MiniTHON, a FUNdraiser organized by students in all grades with the help of their faculty adviser Mrs. Lauren Tocci. Because of Covid restrictions, MiniTHON will be a little different this year. Many of the usual events are not possible, but that hasn’t stopped the creative bunch of students from reaching their goal. 

“It’s definitely going to be tough this year because we can’t gather canning donations from sports events,” said senior Courtney Cusick, president of MiniTHON, “but we are trying our best to make the best out of a bad situation.”

Cusick would not take no for an answer this year. She and the rest of the MiniTHON crew have planned the event to make sure that they make as much money as they can to support children who suffer from pediatric cancer. They set up small goals starting at $5000 and slowly worked their way up. Since COVID has kept them from gathering donations at the football games and the 5k fundraiser, they have sent out donor drives to raise awareness and hopefully obtain donations. 

Students from many high schools also take part in this fundraiser, organizing their own local events. Penn State University is the home to THON and the main source of fundraising. Together, participants are all hoping for the best experience to help these children who are suffering.

“MiniTHON means a lot to me because I was once a Penn Stater,” high school principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello said. 

At Penn State University, THON much larger in scope. This year at Penn State, THON has also drastically changed due to COVID.

Mrs. Guarriello praised the efforts of Mrs. Tocci and the students organizing Southern Lehigh’s MiniTHON, offering many words of encouragement. She plans to do anything she can to help with the fundraiser, and always gives her all to the charity event, even if she can’t always get the dances right. 

Mrs. Tocci first became involved with MiniTHON as a chaperone when it was organized under the supervision of social studies teacher Mr. Troy Ruch, a former MiniTHON advisor. She credits the hard work of Mr. Ruch and the student leaders in the early success of the fundraising event. 

“Being a chaperone, it was hard not to be energized by watching students come together for such an important cause,’’ Mrs. Tocci said. ‘’I didn’t know much about how it would come together, but the kids in charge had vision and passion, the two most important qualities to get things done.” 

Mrs. Tocci is eternally grateful that the students involved in this club are driven by passion, and genuinely love raising money to put a smile on the faces of the kids who are fighting pediatric cancer. 

“Watching students driven by how they’ve been touched personally by cancer, or by just wanting to make this world a little brighter,” she said, “it means everything to get to advise them on that journey.”