ROXBURY, NJ — Forced to go virtual last spring due to COVID-19 shutdowns, Roxbury High School’s Rox-THON fundraiser for children with cancer will return to in-person status this year.

The event, for Roxbury High School students only, is scheduled for May 21 at the high school. Freshmen and sophomores will participate from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Juniors and seniors will get their turns from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 22 is the scheduled rain date.

This year's Rox-THON will be the school's seventh. More than $300,000 has been raised from the events over the years. So far this year, the organizers have raised $3,543.52 toward their $25,000 goal

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“Rox-THON will continue to give the majority of the raised funds to Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center, keeping money within the local community, and a portion to Four Diamonds which supports the larger community for families who are battling pediatric cancer,” said the school district in a statement.

“The impact this organization has had in both our community and in the lives of so many children has been the most inspiring and life-changing experience for me,” said Rox-THON President Ileana Gonzalez. “As a senior, this very impact is the reason I believe it is so important to support Rox-THON and donate to our cause.”

That can be done online or by sending checks (payable to “RHS Rox-THON”) to Roxbury High School Attn: Mike Gottfried, 1 Bryant Dr. Succasunna, NJ 07876. Any inquiries can be directed to rhsroxthon@roxbury.org.

“It’s the students who continue to push the envelope to see the funds grow from year to year,” said Rox-THON Club Advisor Michael Gottfried. “The students are the ones pounding the pavement and making the calls to do something bigger than themselves.”

Rox-THON is an outgrowth of Penn State’s THON event, which raises money for pediatric cancer. Two years ago, the Roxbury club created its own organization to keep local most of the money raised by the students.

Last year, the planned, 12-hour-long in-school event was canceled in March, a day before it was scheduled to take place. It resurfaced in May as a 2-hour-long virtual event; a YouTube live stream that featured interactive triva games, a DJ, prizes and speakers who were impacted by pediatric cancer.

“While this year may look different than the past, it’s the purpose of the event that stays the same,” said Margery Richman, co-advisor. “We’re excited to be able to hold a modified on-campus event since last year the event was held virtually.”

Gottfried said the logistics for the event are being carefully planned with the administration. "Attendees can still expect the energy and activities to remain consistent with the traditions that have been established including music, games, guest speakers and dancing,” he said.

“Knowing that money is being raised to help families so that they don’t have to worry about any financial expenses while their child receives treatment, motivates us to help,” said Rox-THON Club Vice-President Rachel Feliciano. “Whether it’s medical bills or housing, the only thing families need to think about is their child. How great is that?”

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