EXETER — Preparations are nearly complete as the “WA March Madness: Dancing For a Cure” Mini-THON event is only weeks away.
Wyoming Area Secondary Center students and faculty have been working hard all school year to raise funds and build off the success of last year’s inaugural event, which raised over $28,000.
“We expect a lot of people to come and we expect a lot of donations,” Brianna Braccini, 14, said of this year’s event.
The Mini-THON will be held Saturday, May 12 at the Secondary Center, 20 Memorial St., and will be held from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., with public hours from 5 to 10 p.m. After that, the event will be open only to students and faculty.
Events this year include dancing, a basketball tournament, video games, pool tables, air hockey tables and a bounce house.
Cost to attend is $10.
This year, students hope to raise $40,000, of which $18,o00 has already been secured.
Students are planning fundraising events such as bingo that will be held at noon Sunday, April 22 in the school cafeteria.
“We’re expecting to, hopefully, raise around 10 grand or so from that event,” said history teacher Ashley Aritz.
Other upcoming events include a car wash on Saturday, April 28; bagging groceries at Gerrity’s Supermarket on Sunday, April 29; a dress down day and a stall day in which student put money in a jar on their teacher’s desk and the teacher cannot start class until all the money is counted.
Previous events to raise money were a restaurant night, a movie night and an ugly sweater dance.
“I feel like we’re more prepared,” said Mackenzie Switzer, 14, of this year’s event. “We know what needs to be done before the event and how many helpers we’re going to need.”
Proceeds from the event go to Four Diamonds and Little Eric’s Foundation.
According to its website, Four Diamonds was started in 1972 by Charles and Irma Milliard in honor of their son, Christopher, who died at the age of 14 from cancer.
Since its creation, Four Diamonds has helped more than 3,700 children and families and supported a diverse platform of childhood cancer research.
Little Eric’s Foundation was established in 2013 in memory of Eric J. Speicher Jr., a Wyoming Area student who passed away from brain cancer at the age of 14.
Some students learned first hand who the event is helping when they visited Penn State Children’s Hospital, which is where the funds go.
“We went around the hospital and saw all of the different ways our money benefited (the children),” said Julia Crane, 14.
“It was kind of crazy seeing how something we think is so little that doesn’t affect much here,” said Blaise Sokach-Minnick, 14. “We actually got to see what they do at the hospital… and we got to see how we’re helping out the kids.”
The event is still a month away, but English teacher Anthony Macario said everything is in place for another fun event.
“We’re just trying to iron everything out at the point,” he said. “Get everything squared away and get everything organized for the event itself. I would say about 90 percent of the fundraising is done, and now it’s just a matter of getting forms together, getting as many people from the community involved, and really trying to structure it so that everyone who comes has a good time.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher