My Mini-THON Experience

Mini-THON 2019 was a successful event, raising over $82,000 FTK. As overall chair, I take you through my experience at the Carnival for a Cure.

Dallastown Video Production Club



Over $82,000 was raised at Dallastowns 5th annual mini-THON. Held on March 1st through the 2nd, students stayed standing and awake for twelve hours to raise money for the Four Diamonds Foundation. At the conclusion of the event, the student chairs revealed the total, which beat their goal of $75,000 FTK.

Alexa Fisher, Editor-in-Chief

We stood. We danced. We didn’t sleep. Dallastown hosted its 5th annual Mini-THON on March 1st-2nd. Being the overall student chair of the event, I decided to take a moment to reflect back on the experience and inspire others to join this meaningful event.

Last spring, my idea of Carnival for a Cure was voted on by the other student chairs as the theme for the event. After months of planning and preparation, March 1st finally came.

The night kicked off with an energetic performance by drumline, followed by the morale committee premiering the line dance. Being the former co-chair of morale committee, I helped choreograph the dance and performed it on stage.

Dancing on stage at mini-THON is indescribable. The energy from the crowd combined with the music blaring through the front lobby creates an unforgettable atmosphere for a performer.

Even though I was the Overall chair, I still was largely involved with the morale committee because I co-chaired it last year. The morale committee plans all the events that happen on stage during the together times. Highlights this year include a magician, The Best Friends Challenge, and minute to win it games. They also are responsible for creating the music and choreography for the line dance, my favorite part!

It is also important to note the incredible stage, lighting, and music we were blessed to have. The professional production value takes our mini-THON to a new level.

At the opening ceremonies I presented my opening speech to the audience. I was never so nervous to speak in front of a crowd because the topic of my speech meant so much to me.

Throughout the night, the entertainment committee planned many fun activities. Even with twelve hours there was not enough time to do everything they planned.

I was able to participate in an escape room, make a wool keychain, visit the puppy room, compete in the badminton tournament, and play mini-golf.

All of these activities were engaging and fun, making time fly by and keeping my mind off my leg pains.

One of my goals as overall chair was to make sure the reason we were dancing was present through the night. Guest speakers facilitated greatly in accomplishing this.

Devon Underwood, music therapist at Penn State Children’s Hospital, spoke and even performed the song created for Penn State’ THON by the children.

Other speakers included a panel of THON dancers, Four Diamonds families, and even science teacher Mr. Stauffer who was a former Four Diamond family.

Natalie O’Dell
National Art Honor Society painted diamonds with Four Diamonds kids names on the floor of the school. My friend and I posed by Tyler Bryant’s diamond before the event began to honor his legacy. Bryant passed away in June 2016.

However, one speaker moved me to tears. Ashley Bryant eloquently spoke of the loss of her son, Tyler, and how the Four Diamonds Foundation allowed the last few months to be spent with Tyler memorable.

To keep the dancers fueled and energetic, the hospitality committee provided tons of food and drinks.

Walking into the cafeteria was breathtaking. Red and white carnival decorations adorned the room,with the balloon arch hanging from the ceiling to mimic a carnival tent.

Olive Garden, pizza, Chick-fil-A, Rita’s italian ice, snacks, donuts, bagels, and plenty more were served.

My personal favorite snack was the adorable and tasty cotton candy. It fit perfectly with the theme!

Throughout the night, I popped into the VIP room. The VIP room is available for participants who raise at least $300.

VIP’s are rewarded with storage space, a phone charging station, gift bags, Smoothie King, and lots of extra food like nachos and candy.

The VIP room is definitely worth the extra time taken to raise money because of the storage space alone.

Bowls of snacks sat upon brightly decorated tables in the cafeteria. There was no shortage of food throughout the night thanks to contributions and donations from the community. The hospitality committee not only gathered food donations, but also decorated the entire cafeteria to match the carnival theme.

Throughout the night, the morale committee plans stage events during the together times. In addition to performing the line dance, we had several other stage events.

I planned the Best Friend challenge, where pairs of best friends answered questions to see who would know each other best. It was hilarious to see some of the random answers.

Other highlights included a magician and the sports team performances. Because many teams dropped out of the performances, it was only cheer and girls cross country who performed.

Performing with my cheer team was fun and I encourage any teams interested to try next year. Not only did we bond, but we made unforgettable memories dancing to old hip hop with our hoodies.

It would be unfortunate to recap Mini-THON without mentioning the popular glow hour. Glow hour is a giant dance party in the front lobby in the dark, with every dancer given a FTK glow stick.

At the end of the night, prizes were given out to top fundraisers. Because I was the third overall highest fundraiser, I won the ultimate carnival prize: an adorable giant stuffed animal.

After counting down to the highly awaited sit-down, we all watched the recap video created by the video production club.

Alexa Fisher
My friend and I pose in the carnival photo booth, making the diamond shape with our hands. This picture captures the essence of what the event was: A Carnival for A Cure. My goal as overall chair was not just about creating a fun event for high schoolers, but to raise funds and awareness for the Four Diamonds Foundation.

Those students deserve a huge shout-out for not only staying up all night videoing us, but editing the video fast enough for us to view before we leave.

So many fun memories were made in twelve hours. But, in the last few minutes the best memory was made. The other chairs and I revealed the total, an outstanding $82,153.85 FTK! We surpassed our goal of $75,000 and beat the previous year’s total.

Mini-THON is an organization and event I will forever keep near my heart. I learned that my actions can make a difference in someone’s life, and that my high school problems are nothing compared to the suffering the Four Diamonds families are going through.

If you are unfamiliar with mini-THON and Four Diamonds, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself. The organization changed my life, and many others. Maybe it will change yours.