Annually students gather for a cause that fights pediatric
cancer, however there are benefits to each dancer for their dedication.
Standing for 12 hours may seem like a painful and difficult task but the committees for Red Lion’s Mini-THON have over the years come up with a variety of different ways for dancers to keep themselves occupied the whole night.
Many of the night’s events are occurring outside on Horn Field with the popular Ultimate Frisbee and the World Cup soccer tournaments. Despite the freezing temperatures, dozens of students formed teams to compete for the honor of holding the title of Mini-THON Champions.
Some of the featured teams were fan favorite Dream Team, Box Squad and Team Dominate for Frisbee, as well as Pretty Much Friends, for soccer. Each team is given equal opportunity to play each other at least once, and the two teams with the highest scores will go onto play in the championship game.
Aside from the athletic action outside, dancers are given opportunities to keep active, awake and warm inside. The old and auxiliary gyms consist of basketball and dodgeball, respectively, and the Fitzkee Center has a wide range of activities to do. Dancers can be found playing badminton, volleyball, an obstacle course, dancing to music provided by DJ and senior Colby Joines, and video games on the track.
Every year, one of the most popular (and relaxing) things to do is swimming. Upon signing in before the start of the night, each dancer can pick up a time card to choose when they wish to swim. Many students choose the later hours, when they are feeling the most tired. “As a lifeguard, I’m finding that the most amount of dancers come in between 1-3 am, probably because the water relaxes the tired muscles,” senior Krista Falatovich said.
Falatovich, along with seniors Michael Ondek and Sarah Bernhart, are among some of the volunteer lifeguards that will remain on duty from 11 pm to 5 am.
A schedule that detailed when and where events were to occur, as well as when food was going to be served, was posted in the commons for everyone to see.
By Bella McCarey
From the moment students started filing through the doors of the commons, the excitement and positive energy filled the atmosphere until if felt as though the hundreds of dancers were going to burst.
Dancers began shouting, running around to work off jitters and even beginning to sweat… and the night was still young.
Four Diamonds children were bubbling with energy as their parents played a game of “catch the chicken”, attempting to chase their lively kids.
The 9th annual Mini-THON officially kicked off at 6:30 pm with the traditional group photo and the teaching of the line dance. Students were dismissed out to the commons but were told to remain close for every hour, the dancers would meet back in the Fitzkee Center for the line dance and at 7 pm, Family Hour was to take place.
“Four Diamonds to us and all our families, means the world to us,” said father of Autumn Zeller. “It’s just amazing how you’re not alone during the journey, you don’t have to worry about the bills and I’m glad to announce that May 28, Autumn will be declared cancer-free.”
Among some of the families to share their stories were Red Lion Senior High’s own Billy Jackson and Trevor Vitz. “I promised everyone here a hug, but you all didn’t need to line up at once,” junior Jackson said, referring to the hundreds of dancers lined up in a circle around the gym.
Sophomore Trevor Vitz, who had been diagnosed with stage 2 Adenold Cystic Carcinoma, had gone through 11 hours of anesthesia before enduring 12 long hours of surgery to remove the tumors in his face and head. Following weeks of radiation therapy, Vitz was happy to share that he has since been cancer-free and was able to grow 8 inches and gain 50 pounds.
The stories that had been shared are the reminder to dancers why they are there, why they are dancing and standing for 12 hours.
Family hour was just the beginning of the night. More updates to come, covering live events and activities.
By Adrianna Clinton
In her first visit to America a year ago, senior Lena Hoschen found a love for Roburrito’s and Chipotle restaurants.
Now that’s she back for the entire school year, she has also tried American popcorn, which is different from what her homeland Germany offers. She doesn’t care for the salty popcorn here, but prefers lots of butter.
The 17 year old native of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany is back for her second time to the US, staying with the same family as last year. After her three-week stay as a part of the York Twinning Association Program, she wanted to come back for a longer period of time.
“Everybody is nicer here. The school system is completely different, even the grocery stores are different,” Lena said. “The biggest [in Germany] is one-third of Giant.”
Lena, a member of the cross-country team, really likes the school spirit here at Red Lion. “In Germany, there are no sports teams. There’s nothing I really don’t like here...I love it. I like that you have different classes, not always with the same people in the same room,” she said.
In most German schools, students stay in the same classroom with the same students all day long, with teachers changing rooms when classes change.
As she has been learning English since kindergarten, she doesn’t find speaking with Americans difficult. In Germany, learning English from a young age is mandatory, and eventually they must learn a second language, so Lena has also been speaking French for five years.
While she’s here, she hopes to go to Ohio, where the rest of her host family lives, and she knows she will go to New York City at some point.
By Molly Merson
Gabriella Zarragoitia, junior, was named a student of the month for February. She is involved in executive council and orchestra, and she enjoys playing the viola in her free time.
She hopes to someday attend a college in Massachusetts to major in biology. She is very interested in science, and was once involved in the Physics Olympics competition in Dallastown, Pennsylvania.
In addition to achievements, Gabriella has proudly been on the distinguished honor roll since the beginning of her academic career. Once, she was even summoned to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. This is a national event featuring excelled students from different states. Gabriella was one of two local students from Red Lion, Pennsylvania to attend this congress.
She likes to read and help out in the school’s tech crew for musicals. Gabriella utilizes the inspiration of getting into a good college to drive her to do well in school. Another inspiration of hers is her father, Mark. He worked very hard to become a police officer, which motivates Gabriella to work hard in school. She also has a brother, Marcos, who is in ninth grade.
Gabriella continues to excel in school and strive to achieve her goal of attending a great college in the future. Not only has she continued to receive excellent grades, but she has became a role model for students everywhere.
By Allie Thomas
Dominico Vano, 17, definitely deserved this accolade by his show in excellence through academics and extracurricular activities in which he is involved, which includes being a part of the tennis team and being a mini THON member.
Also, a wide list of other extracurricular activities like brain busters/intellectual quiz team, executive council, intramural basketball, STEM team member, and the physics olympics. Along with being a STEM team member, his team won the second place overall, and even won the Mars Rover race while they were there at the event.
With having such a long list of accomplishments, Dom claimed that his personal favorites were becoming a part of National Honors Society (NHS) and winning the school spelling bee in fourth grade.
Dom was definitely spotlighted as Student of the Month for his excellence in all things he takes part in, giving everything his one hundred percent effort.
By Taylor Bosley
Since 1926, February has been deemed “Black History Month.” It is the month where America looks back on the oppression but also the accomplishments of the African American race in America. It is viewed as time to mourn the wrong doings but also celebrate the people who worked to bring equality into America.
Martin Luther King Jr. is a household name in America. Gregg Thibault, senior, thinks that there are too many people who only know of him when talking about black history. He believes there are many other influential figures who are looked over, ones like Thurgood Marshall, Dred Scott, Marcus Garvey and many more.
Thurgood Marshall was the first African American justice in the Supreme Court System while also taking part in the famous Brown vs. Board Of Education. Dred Scott was an African American, who although lost, still fought for his freedom by attempting to sue for it. Marcus Garvey was involved in the Pan-Africanism and Black Nationalism movement and also founded the Black Star Line.
“They [students ] should pay more attention to them because most, if not all of them, paved the way for MLK and other black leaders that came after them,” Thibault said. Thibault also thinks that the countless men and women in African American history should be taught in the same light as other figures that are taught in school.
While Thibault thinks the month is necessary to share the history since he says it is “overlooked”, he also sees a negative.
“At the same time it’s a shame that a month has to be dedicated for people to acknowledge it,” Thibault said.
Thibault also views the current racial unrest in the country as what should be a focal point of conversation right now.
“Right now is a time of a lot of social unrest and there’s plenty of protests taking that are worth talking about that aren’t,” Thibault said.
By Bella McCarey
For the last 12 months, the Red Lion community has been surrounding the efforts of Habitat for Humanity to build a home for Ashley Moffitt and her daughter Shaelynn. Superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley and Assistant Principal Mr. Grant Gouker teamed up to bring the dream of participating in Habitat for Humanity to the school district.
The house is in the final stretch, with the ending date rapidly approaching. March 23, 2015 is the date that Mr. Gouker has in mind and would like to continue working to meet the deadline.
“The interior is about 98% finished. There is still a little bit of painting to do, electrical fixtures to install, and window treatments to do, “ Mr. Gouker said. “There are also some exterior things to do all of which will have to be completed when the weather gets warm.”
As of now, the itinerary or location of the closing ceremony isn’t absolute. The one thing that Mr. Gouker is aware of is creating a “special project” to create for the homeowner, which will be a gift highlighting the building process.
The house was made possible mainly based on fundraising efforts by the community itself as well as the school districts, including staff, administration and students, participating in the building process.
The fundraising goal for the project was met, a $90,000 figure necessary for finishing the home.
By Ian Adler
This year marked the sixth annual “Polar Bear Plunge” to help benefit Special Olympics of York County. The event’s main goal is to fundraise to help pay for programs SOYC runs for its athletes.
Participants raise money, show up to the John Wright restaurant in Wrightsville and take a dip in the frozen Susquehanna River. However, there is much more to it than just hopping into ice cold water.
Many plungers dress up in creative costumes, as the event features a “costume contest” with categories such as “most outrageous” or “most creative.” There are also fun activities, with 96.1 WSOX broadcasting music for everyone to dance to throughout the day (the event goes from around 10 AM to 1 PM).
“The energy was a lot higher this year than last year,” Mrs. Carrie Smeltzer, Health teacher and event organizer said. “I think the weather had a lot to do with it and we had a lot of the athletes participate in the dances and things, so I think that made the energy a lot better.”
Red Lion’s team, “RL Hardcore” brought plenty of first time plungers to the stage.
“I think it’s a great event,” English teacher Mr. James Marsala said after taking the plunge. “It’s my first time here, and it’s awesome. It’s a great cause and a really fun time.”
“It was a shock at first, but after coming out of the water, it wasn’t that bad,” Mr. Ryan Small of the English department said. “My sister is actually in the special education program up at Bloomsburg, and she loved doing this last year, so I figured I’d come out and help a good cause and help Mrs. Smeltzer out too.”
“From Red Lion, I would like to see more of our administrators and teachers, colleagues, joining the team,” said Smeltzer. “I know that the students have a lot more fun when they have those individuals joining with them.”
With over 1,000 participants this year, about 350 showed up on the day of the plunge to sign up, marking a record attendance for the event.
The planning committee will meet in May to determine a date for next year’s plunge. Participants can start signing up around the 2015 holiday season.
“I want to put it out to the Rowdies to come next year.” Small said. Polar Bear Plungers ‘Freezin for a reason’, raised over $115,000
By Ian Adler
“Cancer sucks, Mini-THON rocks,” Four Diamonds parent and English teacher Tina Funke said at the Mini-THON kick off assembly in January.
For those who don’t know, Mini-THON is a scaled down version of Penn State’s “THON”, in which students, called dancers, raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund and come out for an evening of fun, games, dancing and of course, support.
This upcoming year will mark Red Lion’s eighth annual Mini-THON, with the event only expanding and increasing funds since the first one in 2008.
“You may have seen me this morning on the weather for the morning announcements,” Junior Billy Jackson said at the kick-off assembly. “But it was January 2, 2001 that I received the gravest forecast of all. A 100 percent chance of ALL leukemia.”
ALL Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that affected Billy’s life 13 years ago, and still affects him today.
Billy attended THON at Penn State in late February. “The atmosphere is great,” Jackson said. “I like to help the little children. It’s like a giant party. It’s a really fun atmosphere.”
Billy will also be attending Red Lion’s Mini-THON. “It’s fun, exciting and it shows support for people who don’t have it so well. It’s a good way of showing that you care,” Jackson said.
“I’m heading up to THON with some other families to support my sister,” Sophomore Carter Beyer said in a recent phone interview. Carter’s sister Cora has recently switched medication for her cancer treatment, and she is doing better now.
“She’s pretty much in the clear. We just worry about the after-effects.” Beyer said.
With so many touching stories told at the assembly, staff and students can really see the difference their support for Red Lion mini-THON and the Four Diamonds Fund makes.
New events at Mini-THON plan to bring new dancers to the floor
By Shaw Gunarich
In addition to non-stop dancing, free food and the opportunity to help out childhood cancer victims, Mini-THON also offers a wide array of activities for dancers to engage in during Red Lion’s 12-hour Mini-THON.
“Mini-THON is an overall good experience for people to raise money for childhood cancer,” Kyle Palmieri, co-chair of the day of committee said. Mini-THON is brought to Red Lion students by the hard working staff and students of the Mini-THON committee who work from the previous year of Mini-THON until the next Mini-THON to bring every participant fun, games and of course, dancing.
“2015 Mini-THON will encompass a day that will bring more attendance than ever,” Mr. Ryan Small, a committee teacher for the day of Mini-THON said. “The variety of things to do are a guaranteed good time, so come support our cause.”
Dancers at Mini-THON can look forward to ultimate frisbee games up on Horn Field. Also, a new event this year includes the “World cup”, which is a game based off of the FIFA World Cup. It is a game of soccer which has rounds of elimination until one team is left standing, so break out those cleats and choose your partner.
Another very popular event at Mini-THON is the revered “Can Jam” in which Mr. Small and mathematician Ms. Arvanites will defend their title against any who are bold enough to challenge.
Some other events to look for are dodgeball, junk-in-the-trunk, relay races, the oreo roll and basketball. There is a large poster in the Commons area for students discretion displaying the events at Mini-THON.
In addition to athletic activities and games, the local band TAMMA will be making their second Mini-THON appearance in the commons at midnight.
“We’ll be opening with some Seven Nation Army, then playing Santeria by Sublime, Voodoo Child by Stevie Ray Vaughn and several others,” Ian Adler, Red Lion junior, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist said.
Mini-THON is closer than it may seem; starting on Friday March 27 and trailing into the following morning. If a student has not signed up already, see any of the following teacher advisors: Mr. Small, Miss Capiotis, Miss White, Mrs. Wilson or Mrs. Beland.
Seventy-five dollars will need to be raised in order to attend and it will be collected the day of Mini-THON during student sign in’s before the event begins. See any club member or chair or advisor with any question, as always, FOR THE KIDS (FTK).