By Shayla Scallorn
Social Media Editor
After 11 years of hard work, Mini-THON has raised a grand total of $500,722.22. The money was raised in support of the Four Diamonds Fund and recent Red Lion graduate Brooks Argento.
Life for the Argento family was turned upside down when Brooks was diagnosed with a brain tumor only a few short weeks after starting college. Today, roughly seven months later, Brooks is on the road to recovery. Through this fight, his loving friends and family have been there to support him every step of the way. A personal message from Brooks played during the second hour to thank everyone for their contribution and dedication.
By Brianna Lehr
In the middle of September, Jessica Owrutsky, Brianna Lehr, and Madison Lester from Red Lion, and other selected amounts of students were chosen from each school district in York County to attend a youth mental health alliance conference at Wyndham Garden York Hotel.
During this meeting, the youth came together and talked about how to make Mental Health more known throughout York County, and created a name for the alliance called The Silence Ends Here supported with the hashtag “I am because you are”.
The reason behind this group is to reach out to people who are struggling with a mental health issue or who know someone who is struggling. The goal is to let them know that they are not alone, and that arms are always open.
The Silence Ends Here has had two other meetings since September.
The most recent meeting included several panelists who hold government and federal positions, who were asked several questions relating to mental health and how to make it more acknowledged.
The Silence Ends Here is just a group of young people, who are trying to crush the stigma of Mental Health, in the idea that Mental Health issues are not fake or “crazy” but all too real.
By Brianna Lehr
During the week of Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, Student Council is hosting a Cash for Cans event during school.
This event is all about giving back to our community by using a competition between classes.
Cash for Cans will be set up during the lunch shifts, and it allows students to put coins in their class can in order to gain points for their class cup. However, classes can put bills into another class’s can, to make that class lose points.
The top three classes will be awarded class cup points and the winning class will win an incentive, such as a Sheetz coupon.
“It boosts school spirit with the class competition aspect,” Colleen Dai said, who is a member of student council.
At the end of this event, all the money goes towards the food bank.
“It helps students give back to our community,” Colleen Dai said.
By Ian Adler
“We have to continue, in all of our communities, to shatter the stigma associated with mental illness, and let people know that it’s an illness, so let’s get help.”
Answering the call to help, as the Aevidum spirit represents, around 300 participants showed up to run the Aevidum “Color Blast 5k” on Sunday, October 4. The race began at Manor Middle School and followed the school’s 3.1 mile cross-country course.
A color blast is a “friendly” run, in which various colors of powder are thrown on the runners by volunteers throughout the course. The event featured DJ services, post-run snacks, and a finale “color bomb”, where a powder tossing free-for-all coated the runners with all the remaining rainbow dust.
The second annual color blast is just one of many events that Aevidum hosts, ranging from community talk events, talent shows, music or poetry nights and anything that schools that host the organization decide to hold.
“The whole goal is to promote positive mental health,” said Executive Director of Aevidum Joe Vulopas. “Places where people are accepted, appreciated, acknowledged and cared for.”
The color blast was described as “more of a community event” by Vulopas, due to the partnership with Teen Hope, a branch of the Samaritan Counseling Center, that helps middle and high schools to screen teenagers for mental illnesses. The money raised from the event was split in donation to both Teen Hope and the Aevidum organization.
“It was a great experience,” said senior and Red Lion Aevidum club member Hayley Althoff. “The atmosphere was amazing, I loved being a part of it. I actually thought that there was going to be 50 people there, but there were like 300 and most of them were teens.”
Both the community atmosphere and the warmth and welcoming nature of the both participants and volunteers definitively showed that the Aevidum spirit was alive and well.
“I feel like depression and things of that sort are becoming more prevalent,” said Althoff. “I think that it needs to be made aware of, especially when you have kids in your own school committing suicide and you don’t even know that they’re depressed until something like that happens.”
Red Lion not only brought student participants, but also adult volunteers, including both club advisors Mrs. Rohrbaugh and Mrs. Persing.
“Overall, I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Rohrbaugh, who spent the duration of the event handing water to the runners. “I think the kids enjoyed it, we raised a lot of money and it was a success from an overall standpoint.”
“Between our 20 participants, ranging from elementary to high school, we raised $500, which is pretty impressive,” said Rohrbaugh. Overall, the event raised about.
“Whenever I speak, I always say that we all have a role in making sure that our children are healthy. What is that role that we have?” said Vulopas. “Today, at this event, there were people from everywhere here, which again just surrounds these kids so they know that they can do the right thing, that we care for them.”
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.”
By Helen Zeidman
Every little girl dreams of having the perfect dress for prom. With the help of Student Council, everyone will get the chance to find their fairytale gown.
This is the second year for the Lion Queen dress drive, though it is now called the formal fashion fair, since the merchandise is not restricted to prom dresses.
In addition to dresses, Student Council also collects shoes, bags, and accessories to give away or consign. The dresses are not limited to prom dresses; homecoming and other formal occasion attire are accepted, too. The fair this year will be expanded to include everything for the prom experience, not just dresses.
Last year, the drive was only open to Red Lion students, but this year, anyone can donate, consign, or buy the dresses and accessories.
Some dresses will be given away for free and others will be sold for up to $100.
“The general idea is that people with less money should be able to get great dresses, too,” Elizabeth Gable, a member on the committee that organized the event, said.
Mrs. Jane Dennish, the student council adviser, came up with the idea from the nationwide event, The Cinderella Project.
“I thought that it would be neat to provide free prom dresses locally,” Dennish said.
According to Mrs. Dennish, Student Council is planning on having a hairstylist, a nail stylist,, and a Mary Kay consultant at the event this year. The goal is to help students figure out how to do the rest of their outfits after they find their dresses.
There will also be raffles for various gift baskets at the event with everything from hair tools to makeup.
The main goal of the event is to bring people together during the chaotic prom season, not for Student Council to make a profit.
“The students make all of the money. It is not like a typical consignment where the business takes a cut of the profit,” Dennish said. “We do it as a service.”
“We want to entice mothers and daughters to spend the day together. They can make it a mother and daughter day,” Dennish 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).
The Polar Plunge benefits the York County Special Olympics on an annual basis.
By Cindy Buttorf
Each year in the beginning of February, weather permitting, thousands of people gather world wide to take a breathtaking plunge into icy cold waters.
Five years ago, health teacher Mrs. Carrie Smeltzer brought the idea of the Polar Bear Plunge to York County, making it now York County’s largest fundraiser that benefits the York County Special Olumpics. Smeltzer started it to bring money in for the athletes to help pay for invitational events and specific equipment.
The first year the plunge took place in York, the event was a big accomplishment. “The first year was easy compared to now, it was new, I got butterflies because of the unknown. Will people show up and will they raise money?” Smeltzer said, recalling the thoughts from the first day of the plunge. This year over 300 people took part in the plunge and raised approximately $43,000.
Smeltzer had to leave her teaching position at the end of first semester last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer. “Last year was bitter sweet. The seniors knew my situation and supported me through the plunge,” Smeltzer said. That year was the largest turn out thus far for Red Lion, having 43 students participate in the plunge.
“I beat breast cancer, raising two kids, being a wife and a mom, running Special Olympics swimming and Polar Bear Plunge, just trying to stay as normal as possible.” Smeltzer said when she was asked about her year off. “[The experience] gave me a different out look on life; slow down, don’t take life for granted, absorb the little things. Just mainly slow down,” Smeltzer said.
There is always a little hesitation when it comes to trying something new and stepping outside of your comfort zone, but Smeltzer’s plea is, “Just do it, give it a try, and it’s three minutes of your life you will never forget.” Another thing she would like to see is a greater teacher and administration turn out for next year’s plunge.
“I want to thank Reinert for supporting something near and dear to my heart and risking hypothermia each year. I also would like to thank everyone else who helps out during that day, I couldn’t do it without you,” Smeltzer said in sympathy.