MiniThon returns to celebrate in 2023


Mini Thon

Lilianna Schaller [left] and Erika Patel [right] have many new plans to make MiniTHON fun for everyone.

At Southern Lehigh High School, students who want to get involved have many choices of clubs. MiniTHON is one of the most popular, with 162 members. With so many students involved, everyone helps to add something to the “no-sitting” 12-hour event on May 20th. This MiniTHON event is to celebrate all the money raised for For The Kids (FTK), a nonprofit dedicated to serving children in underprivileged communities. 

Geared toward high school students, MiniTHON is a small but important part of more prominent organizations,THON and The Four Diamonds Foundation. THON is a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon in February held at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center. The dance marathon raises money year-round to help bring awareness to the fight against childhood cancer. This year, Penn State’s THON raised a record-setting number of $15,006,132.46

Both THON and MiniTHON fundraise for The Four Diamonds Foundation. Their mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting eligible children and their families by covering all medical expenses related to childhood cancer. Thanks to Penn State’s generous community, the Four Diamonds assisted every childhood cancer patient at the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. 

“The main goal of MiniTHON is to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer, but at the event in May, our main goal is just to make sure that everyone has a good time, and gets to celebrate all the hard work we have put in for the kids during the year,” senior MiniTHON president Liliana Schaller said. “At MiniTHON, families who have been affected by pediatric cancer and helped by MiniTHON’s efforts come and talk to everyone, so that is a big part of raising awareness for pediatric cancer.”

In past years, MiniTHON has raised huge amounts of money for The Four Diamonds Foundation. In 2019, they raised $21,311.56, which only rose from the year before. In 2022, they raised $37,071.38. This year’s total will be shared at the end of MiniTHON’s 12-hour event, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 20th.

“Fundraising for MiniTHON at SLHS comes from the students involved in the program. With leadership changing every year, you get new ideas for events and fundraisers,” MiniTHON adviser Mrs. Lauren Tocci said. “A lot of our money this year came from the hot coco cart during the spartan period.” 

A lot of planning goes into the upcoming 12-hour event coming up. Th SLHS MiniTHON club plans to have many of the same activities as last year, including a bouncy-house obstacle course for the entire event. They will also have games like “Hungry-Hungry THONers,” basketball, dodgeball, balloon bust, toilet-paper contest, a lip sync battle, and lots of dancing. 

“Planning MiniTHON is definitely a big process, but it is really rewarding,” senior MiniTHON vice president Erika Patel said.

This year’s MiniTHON theme is “under-the-sea.” There will be many colorful decorations including a bubble maker, blue balloon arches, and themed activities including “Sharks and Minnows,” a limbo line, water balloons, and cut-out sea creatures with neon paint for glow hour. 

Glow hour is one of the most highly anticipated events of the night. Once MiniTHON is almost over, at the 11-hour mark, glow hour begins. During this hour, participants will dance in the dark with bright objects like glow sticks. 

Even though MiniTHON seems strenuous, it’s ultimately a good cause for students to support. 

“While 12 hours may seem long, the event really flies by because there are so many activities going on constantly,” Patel said. “Also, it is an amazing feeling to see our fundraising total at the end of the night and see what everyone has helped contribute to, so definitely come out to MiniTHON on May 20th.”