By Carly Guise
Bowling and Zumba and VIP Rooms, oh my!
Red Lion’s Mini-Thon club has introduced new activities and fundraising requirements for the 2018 night of event, held at the high school on Fri., April 27.
By Carly Guise
As students filed into the auditorium on Dec. 1, buzzing with excitement for the upcoming weekend, a little boy sat on the steps leading to the stage, eyeing up the crowd.
His name is Connor Rowan. He is in first grade at Locust Grove Elementary, and he is a cancer survivor.
By Derek Etter
Social Media & Marketing Editor
After much public demand and requests by district administration, the Mini-Thon club was asked to host their yearly event again this year.
As a result, Mini-Thon’s committee has announced that they are once again holding their night-of event, much to the excitement from students and staff alike.
However, this year’s Mini-Thon will be shorter, now running from 4-10 p.m. at the high school on April 27, 2018.
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 Shawn Gunarich
News & Feature Editor
Landon Knepp is a kindergartener at Red Lion, but two years ago, he and hisfamily had their world pulled out from under them, as a 12 centimeter tumor in Landon’s abdomen was found. The tumor would come back to be cancer, a rare and aggressive cancer called Stage Four Neuroblastoma. Since his diagnosis, Landon has undergone six rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, and immunotherapy. Any child who has to undergo such things should be considered a superhero, and in the Four Diamonds family, Landon is a superhero.
The Knepp family has agreed to be the Red Lion Mini-THON family for 2016. This means on April 8, Red Lion students, faculty and Four Diamonds families will dance for twelve hours straight to raise money in honor of the Knepp family. This year is special to the Red Lion Mini-THON family, as it is the tenth birthday of THON at Red Lion.
Since Landon’s last round of chemotherapy this past November, his tumor was reduced considerably and completely eradicated.
“Its tears you apart to see your son like that,” Mrs. Katie Knepp said after recalling Landon in a weakened state, “but after everything, in the end it pulls you all together.” Landon’s mother was forced to resign as a teacher in Red Lion School District in order to be with Landon in his time of need.
Since 1993, Mini-THONs have raised over $17 million to help end a disease that affects millions of families worldwide. In 2015 alone, 188 schools in Pennsylvania raised $4,309,979.60. These feats could not have been reached without the growing family that is the Four Diamonds Fund.
The Four Diamonds was founded by Charles and Irma Millard who lost their son, Chris, to pediatric cancer, but not before Chris could write a story called the Four Diamonds. This story, which gave the Four Diamonds its name, also gave them their ideals and principles. In Chris’ story his character, Sir Millard, is sent out to collect four diamonds that symbolize a certain characteristic of the Four Diamonds fund. These characteristics are honesty, courage, wisdom, and strength, each of which is a diamond that makes the symbol of the fund.
Because of Charles and Irma Millard we have the Four Diamonds, a fund that is based out of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and has touched over 3,200 families.
For those who don’t know, the Four Diamonds helps to raise money to help end childhood cancer, but also allows the parents of the affected children not to have to worry about medical bills. Everything from lodging to food is taken care of by the fund, which allows parents of the children to focus on what really matters, the kids.
“Knowing we didn’t have those medical bills was like a ton of bricks lifted off our shoulders,” Mrs. Knepp said.
Every three minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide. The aim of the Four Diamonds fund is to make that number zero, and with the help of Mini-THONs across the world, we can make it happen.
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 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).
By Bella McCarey
Following the one o’clock hourly line dance, a select group of seniors stayed behind in the Fitzkee Center. It was a group of sixteen seniors who have participated in all four years of high school and were rewarded for their dedication with the 4-year dancer group photo.
“It just doesn’t feel like it’s ending, like it’s not happening,” senior Tara Tolton said about her final year at Mini-THON. “I am a lot more enthusiastic and motivated to make it the best one yet.”
For a departing senior, the rare feeling of dread is at 6 a.m. Dancers are encouraged to stay motivated to remain strong until finally sitting down. But the seniors, do not want their last Mini-THON to end.
Senior and Mini-THON committee member Olivia Uberti noted four reasons why she has been a part of Mini-THON saying, “I think it’s such a great cause, for the kids. I like hearing the stories, and it’s a lot of fun. I also like raising money, because it’s for kids with cancer.”
Last year’s seniors all cried of joy during the countdown of the last 60 seconds before 6 a.m., realizing it would be the last time to witness the moment. It is anticipated that similar reactions and emotions will flow through the room once more.
“Being a part of the community is the best, and it [Mini-THON] just motivates you to be a part of that,” senior and Dance and Revelations Chairman Mason Phillips-Cary said.
By Bella McCarey
As twenty-something Mini-THON committee members lined up to form an archway, hundreds of Dancers ran through the makeshift tunnel and made a beeline towards the stands of the Fitzkee Center. The committee members screamed and yelled at the top of their lungs, pumping up the crowd.
The hustle and bustle calmed down for a brief moment as Dancers found a seat on the stands and it all started up again once junior Trevor Ruppert walked down the stands with one of the three tri-casters that were live streaming Kick Off and Family Hour. “FTK! FTK! FTK!” was chanted over and over and over again. An indescribable excitement filled the atmosphere, sending chills down everyone’s spines.
This was just the beginning. Mini-THON 2014 officially started with Lead Adviser Mrs. Misty Wilson orchestrating and snapping the group photo and Adviser Mr. Eric Wilson went over the rules and itinerary for the night.
“Dancing and badminton will be here in the Fitzkee Center,” Mr. Wilson said, “We have a lot of great food and drinks…. There are a lot of fun games going on in the old gym. Swimming is happening, that’s always a favorite among you guys.”
Before giving the okay to leave and take on the night, Mr. Wilson concludes with, “Reminder to everyone… we do not sit and we do not sleep. That is how we show our support for The Four Diamonds, by remaining awake and standing the whole 12 hours.”
Senior Mason Phillips-Cary lead the teaching of the line dance, which included moves and lyrics that describe events that have happened in last year.
Dancers then dispersed for a short while before the start of Family Hour to scavenge for food and participate in the various activities, such as the Bounce House, face painting and dancing in the commons.
By Shaylah Ponder
Red Lion’s annual Mini-THON is only a couple months away, from being moved up from May to March the Mini-THON committee is busy getting things crackin’. The new date for Mini-THON is now March 28 through the 29, starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. the following morning. The theme that Mini-THON is working with this year is “Dancing Through The Decades” and as many might know, this theme has been incorporated throughout the spirit days this year and will continue up until the time of the event.
This year the Mini-THON committee is welcoming new advisers, their team consisting of Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Beland, Miss Capiotis, Mrs. Godfrey and Mr. Small. Chairs overall this year include Anna Haynie (grade 12), Marketing & Entertainment - Chris Balbier (grade 11) and Macy Owens (grade 10), Dance Relations staff include Mason Phillips-Cary (grade 12) and Lizzie Grim (grade 11), and for Marketing & Publicity McKenzie Horn (grade 12) and Mandalin Burke (grade 10).
Mini-THON’s main goal this year is to focus on the Red Lion Four Diamond families as staff member of the Leonid and Videographer Ben Otte will be producing a Red Lion Mini-THON documentary to be shown at the kick-off assembly that took place Tuesday, Jan. 28.