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Waynesboro Mini-THON raises money for cancer

May 12, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Erika Cauffman, 14, plays pingpong on Saturday at the Waynesboro Mini-THON at Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School.
By Roxann Miller

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Waynesboro Area Senior High School students took steps to fight pediatric cancer by staying on their feet for seven hours on Saturday during the second annual Waynesboro Mini-THON at the school.

The Mini-THON, organized by the school’s sports and marketing class, benefited The Four Diamonds Fund and pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

The fund offsets the costs of treatment that insurance does not cover, as well as expenses that might disrupt the welfare of the child, such as car repairs, rent and household utilities, according to the fund’s website.

Waynesboro’s Mini-THON is based on Penn State University’s annual dance marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy in the nation.

About 60 students stayed on the move from 3 to 10 p.m. by doing Zumba, shooting hoops, playing a game of cornhole or challenging one of their classmates to a friendly game of pingpong.

Brian Fisher, the school’s sports and marketing class teacher and event facilitator, said last year’s event raised $6,500. This year, the class hopes to raise $10,000.

Part of the funds raised come from the $25 donation fee to participate in the Mini-THON.

Fisher said the event helps students not take things for granted.

“We take our health for granted. When you look at the statistics, it’s mind boggling. One in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20,” Fisher said. “It’s just a good opportunity to focus on something that’s for the greater good.”

Ethan Barnhart knows what it’s like to battle cancer.

Ethan, 17, a Waynesboro junior, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2010. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he was cancer-free. Then about two months ago, the cancer returned.

He receives treatment at Hershey Medical Center and has been helped by The Four Diamonds Fund.

“They help pay for medicine. If we had to pay for everything, it would be a lot,” Ethan said. “Most of the medicines are $500 each for a couple of pills.”

It meant a lot to him that his classmates participated in Saturday’s Mini-THON.

“It’s a great thing,” Ethan said. “It’s cool to have everybody around. It brings awareness to people.”

Skylar Green, 15, lost her grandfather to cancer.

“It’s bad enough when older people have cancer, but when kids have to deal with it — that’s something that parents don’t want to see,” Skylar said. “It’s hard for kids to go through something like this.”

This was her first year participating in the event.

“It’s for a good cause, and it’s a lot of fun,” she said as she was taking a short break from a long Zumba session.

Alexandra Kline, 17, didn’t participate last year because of a sporting event, and wanted to make sure she didn’t miss this Mini-THON.

“Cancer affects a lot of people, and it’s affecting one of our students and some of our teachers,” Alexandra said. “So I just wanted to raise money for it. I think any amount that goes toward The Four Diamonds Fund helps, whether it’s $100 or $100,000.”

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