It was an enthusiastic start as students and staff kicked off the 7th Annual McKinley School Mini-THON, a schoolwide, energetic effort to raise money for leukemia and pediatric cancer research.

“As you know, McKinley School does a lot to give back [to the community],” said McKinley principal Marc Biunno as he addressed students and staff gathered in the gymnasium on April 11.  “While the theme here [with the Mini-THON] is to have a lot of fun, the point we take most pride in is that we are helping others.”

Organized by teachers Christina Toulios, Alexandra Urso, and Stephanie Willis, the McKinley Mini-THON is a 2 ½ hour dance marathon to be held during school on Wednesday, May 23 and that will include dancing, games and other fun activities.  Leading up to the dance marathon, students will have opportunities to fundraise through dance marathon pledge donations and  Pennies for Patients, a program offered through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) with each classroom receiving a receptacle in which students can deposit spare change.

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All proceeds will benefit the Karyn Research Fund.

“Thirty years ago, former McKinley teacher Susan Glick lost her daughter to a battle with leukemia,” Toulios, Urso and Willis explained.  “In honor of Karyn and many other families who have children with pediatric cancers, Susan and her daughter, Yael, founded the Karyn Research Fund which raises money to support the research of leukemia and pediatric cancers.

To date, the McKinley Mini-THON has raised more than $50,000 in support of the Karyn Research Fund.