PHOENIXVILLE - In what looks to become a firm tradition, Phoenixville Area High School students will hold their second annual Mini-THON this weekend to raise money for pediatric cancer patients.
Karlyn Small, Alyse Phillips and Jamie Connors led the way on the students' end again in the effort to continue the event emulating Penn State's marquee Dance Marathon (or THON). This year, they were joined in their organizational efforts by Allyssa Andrews.
'They do so much. Those four have done such a great job,' said Phoenixville math teacher and Mini-Thon advisor Erik Rutchauskas. 'We do fundraising and organizing year-round...They've entrenched a great tradition.'
Approximately 90 dancers signed up by Wednesday night for the event, which begins Friday at 8 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 8 a.m.
Phoenixville's Mini-THON will run concurrent with Penn State's THON, which runs for 46 hours.
After raising $7,976.18 last year, the goal for this year's event is $10,000. That money will go to the Four Diamonds Fund which benefits children with cancer at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, the same foundation Penn State's THON benefits.
Such an increase seems possible, since the amount of dancers signed up has already grown by half from last year.
Rutchauskas is a Penn State graduate but THON wasn't as big when he was on campus and he only really heard about it after he left. Helping Phoenixville's students is his way of connecting to it.
'Now this is my chance to be a part of an amazing philanthropic event,' he said Wednesday.
In addition to the students' dancing, which a press release said will feature 'our signature dance line,' relays, bowling, dodgeball and other activities will be available to 'keep the dancers awake and motivated to endure a whole night without sleeping or sitting.'
The Chester County Food Bank is providing refreshments for the event and the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation and Apex Community Federal Union are supporting the high school's Mini-THON.
Those interested can donate at www.fourdiamonds.donordrive.com/events/pahs14.
Last year, Penn State's THON raised more than $12 million for the Four Diamonds Fund.