PJP Hosts Second Annual Mini-THON for Childhood Cancer

Michael A. Limongelli, Sports Editor

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On Friday, April 21, Pope John Paul II High School hosted its second annual Mini-THON, a fundraiser to benefit Four Diamonds, an organization whose “mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.” More than 500 students, 25 faculty members, and 20 parents gathered in the PJP gymnasium united in the common goal to raise money “for the kids.” PJP was even fortunate enough to welcome the parents of Teddy Morton; Teddy lost the battle to cancer at the tender age of roughly five months on April 21, 2008—the same day of this year’s Mini-THON. Listening to the Morton family set aside their grief to speak at Mini-THON was a profoundly moving experience.

The initial fundraising goal was $50,000—a marked increase over last year’s modest goal of $8,000. Last year, PJP shattered all expectations, raising just over 41 thousand dollars. Once again, the PJP community of roughly 900 students rose to the occasion and this year raised over 53 thousand dollars. This was made possible through generous online donations, Mini-THON raffles, theology class collections, the Mr. PJP Beauty Pageant, and Stall Day.

In addition to the proceeds, PJP’s Mini-THON boosted school spirit and created a deeper sense of community among the students. The event consisted of seven hours of dancing, sports tournaments, carnival games, and even a moon bounce. PJP’s very own rapper, Jules Green or YB Jules, performed a three-song concert for those in attendance.

PJP students have nothing but the best to say about THON; just ask senior Matt Bustynowicz. “Mini-THON was a blast, particularly the dodgeball tournament and YB Jules performance,” said Matt. “But the best part is that this is all for the kids who fought or are currently fighting to conquer childhood cancer.”

THON was truly a school-wide effort. Spearheaded by Mrs. Julie Elliott and Mr. Robert Moran, preparation began six months in advance. The PJP Community Service Corps (CSC) executive board worked tirelessly to turn this dream into a reality, and their hard work culminated in a night no one in attendance will ever forget.

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