ROXBURY, NJ - Some Roxbury High School students are hoping to dance their way to $20,000 in donations for childhood cancer research.
In doing so, the kids participating in the annual Roxbury High School Mini-THON on April 7 will be among more than 70,000 students nationwide, according to Four Diamonds, a program at PennState Health Children’s Hospital. Money raised by the Mini-THON is given to Four Diamonds, which covers all expenses for the care and treatment of children not paid for by insurance or other means.
Mini-THONs are modeled after Penn State University’s IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), a student-run effort, also aimed at battling childhood cancer, that ends each year in a 48-hour-long dance marathon.
Spearheading Roxbury’s Mini-THON, as president of the Roxbury High Schook Key Club’s Mini-THON committee, is Roxbury High School Junior Sarah Waldron. She’s been involved in it since her freshman year.
“Penn State does a 46-hour dance marathon where you can’t sit down,” Waldron said. “We do the same except ours is 13 hours. We try to raise the most money we can for the Four Diamonds fund.”
Last year’s Roxbury High School Mini-THON raised about $17,000, Waldron said.
The Mini-THON committee distributes “dancer packets” to participating students and has the students solicit donations, essentially promising they will stay up all night long during the event to dance, play games and engage in other activities, Waldron said.
Those who want to donate can do so online by clicking here.
To keep the dancers going all night at the high school gymnasium, local businesses donate food and beverages. There will be several bands as well as music played by Roxbury High School chemistry teacher Dan Coiro, who is also a disk jockey, Waldron said.
“It’s supposed to be fun,” Waldron said. “We want you to be entertained while you do it.”
The annual Mini-THON’s success has grown over the years. The first one, in 2014, raised about $7,900. The hours were extended in 2015, bringing donations to about $14,500.
A Roxbury High School Mini-THON night at Black River Barn in Randolph is scheduled for Thursday (March 16). The restaurant will donate to the Mini-THON a portion of receipts from diners who leave their receipts in a bin by the door.