For the kids - BASD Minithon surpasses goal by $35,000
When the LHS/FHS Mini-Thon student leadership and advisers set a goal of raising $65,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund, they thought it was lofty, yet achievable with hard work. The Bethlehem Area School District Mini-Thon had in its first year surpassed a goal of $10,000 to raise $23,000 and then last year surpassed a goal of $30,000 to raise $57,000. Now in its third year and most impressive effort yet, the BASD Mini-Thon raised $100,212.50 - a fact so astonishing that Liberty senior overall captain Kalyn Lazar was speechless with pride. Recovering from tears of joy, Lazar just "[wanted] to thank the community for all of its support. For The Kids!"
Just as the "dancers" (as participants in miniature version of Penn State's Dance Marathon are called) of Mini-Thon transformed during the 12 hour event, BASD MiniThon has come a long way from where it started this past summer. Although the group does have a committee dedicated to corporate fundraising, students from both schools held many events from movie nights to car washes to a princes/superhero party and a color run.
This year Mini-Thon leaders decided to expand into the community and spread pediatric cancer awareness by hosting small simulations of the event at several BASD elementary schools. Reflecting on the year, junior overall captain for Liberty Justina Uliana pondered, "Is it bias for me to think that this is the greatest thing our [school] district has ever done?"
The actual event was a 12-hour dance marathon April 11. Running from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., the events committee had planned out different themes for each hour of dancing - with activities both inside the LHS memorial gymnasium and in the stadium. Some of the day's highlights included square dancing during western hour, a performance by the LHS dance team, numerous local/student bands, a Mr. Mini-Thon competition and a dance off between members of the FHS football team and the LHS baseball team that was ultimately declared a tie.
With a day that is equal parts fun and demanding, Freedom events captain and master of ceremonies Nick Youwakim he kept his energy up by knowing it was all for the kids.
While the major guideline of the marathon is that no one is allowed to sit down, some of the most powerful moments came during the time that made everyone stand still: Family Hour. Hearing the stories of those affected by pediatric cancer - like the man who overcame two bone marrow transplants to now mentor younger kids who are in his situation, or of the young boy who asked us to take a moment of silence for the friend he lost from his stay at the hospital, or the late 2008 Liberty graduate Derek Graffis who had so much potential and leaves an even greater influence every day through the inspiring positivity he had - allowed the event to be more than just a gathering of high school students. This led LHS Mini-Thon adviser Kim McHenry to say, "There are no words to express how proud I am of each and every student from Freedom and Liberty."
After a final glow hour of dancing, the total was revealed and Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy shared McHenry's sentiments.