Quakertown Community High School’s Mini-THON 2019 raised a record $31,360.65, more than doubling last year’s achievement of just under $15,000, and topping the students’ goal of $20,000.
The funds go to Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital to cover the treatment costs for pediatric cancer patients.
The high school’s Mini-THON executive board includes four seniors: Alex Brandis, Tori Caputo, Jarod Clarke and Hailey Reiss. They were supported at every step by teachers and Mini-THON advisers Rachel Girman and Melissa Ritter, who spent a day with the student leaders at the children’s hospital so they would understand why what they were doing mattered.
During the 12-hour event on April 5 to 6, Girman and Ritter took a video of the executive board’s reaction to learning what their effort produced. The students were quite emotional, finding it a challenge to hold back the tears.
“We obliterated our goal,” Jarod said. Tori recalled how far they had come since raising $6,000 a few short years ago.
“That’s so exciting,” Alex said.
In an email early Saturday morning, Girman wrote: “It’s been a great night – lots of fun and lots of energy. We had over 150 kids come to stay up and standing for 12 hours to round out our fundraiser for the Four Diamonds this year, plus many community members and middle and elementary school students who joined us for community hour.
“Our incredible students raised a whopping $31,630.65 this year, more than doubling their total last year. We are so proud of the hard work and dedication of our participants and especially our exec committee. If you see seniors Tori Caputo, Alex Brandis, Hailey Reiss, or Jarod Clarke on Monday, congratulate them please on an amazing job this year. They worked exceedingly hard.”
She thanked community member Jordan Cox, “our irreplaceable DJ, MC, and all around energy ball. We are so lucky to have had you with us, keeping the party going.”
“We also want to send out a thank you to the many staff who came throughout the night to support our students and help us out. Thank you to teachers Bill Engler, Matt Rach, Sandi Frisch, Audrey Waddell, Bethany Fuller, Juan Soto, Meghan Yates, Becky Neitz, Bekci Kelly, Nick Hood, and Amy Schwartz for coming out to help. Also big thanks to each of the admin who came through as well. We really couldn’t have done it without all of you.”
On Twitter, high school Assistant Principal Stephen Kimball replied to a photo of the students on a podium in the gymnasium, each holding up a number with the final total as they were cheered on by the student body.
“When I think of the students of the Quakertown Community School District,” he wrote, “I think of things like this.”
Gary Weckselblatt is director of communications for Quakertown Community School District.