By Shawn Gunarich
Ten years of dancing for the students of Red Lion high school, from 2007 till present: Red Lion has been holding an event to help in ending childhood cancer.
In the beginning of 2007, a young high school student named Savannah Smith went around, room to room, asking for help in starting an event called “Mini-THON”, a 12-hour long dance-a-thon, birthed from the yearly THON held at Penn State University.
Savannah approached physical education teacher Miss Ashleigh Reinert. Miss Reinert willingly helped to the best of her ability, as her time was limited as a coach of multiple sports.
One of the events leading to the first mini-THON was to go to Hershey Medical Center to visit the very children they were helping to save. “After I saw the first hand of the first child I knew how important it was,” Miss Reinert said. “In that moment, I knew what we were doing meant something.”
It has been ten years since the first mini-THON, and Red Lion’s attendance and money raised only continue to rise, with over 300 students attending and over $53,000 raised during the 2014-2015 school year.
The 2015-2016 mini-THON fundraising campaign has already started, and the first big fundraisers are already here. On September 11, mini-THON will be holding a chicken barbeque outside the pool area before the football game. November 5 is also a date to save as Red Lion high school will the host the Harlem Wizards basketball team in a staff vs. Wizards game. All proceeds will go toward Red Lion mini-THON.
Red Lion mini-THON has also lost a valued adviser, science teacher Mrs. Misty Wilson, after she took a principal position at Dallastown High School. She has been succeeded by English teacher and mini-THON adviser Mr. Ryan Small, who has been given the title of head adviser.
“We are a team and want to give credit where it’s due,” Small said. “While I’m labeled as head adviser, all other advisers put in the same amount as work as I do, this includes Ms. White, Mrs. Capiotis and Mrs. Beland.”
Putting on mini-THON is very much a team effort, and requires the cooperation and effort of many students and staff, but the most important thing to remember is FTK.
“FTK means hope for those diagnosed.”