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MU Mini-THON Organization fights against childhood cancer

Standing on sore feet, Millersville Students show their fundraising amounts after a long night of dancing at the Mini-Thon event. Photo courtesy of Team FTK at Millersville University Facebook Page

Shaun Lucas
Associate News Editor

On March 2, 2018, Millersville held the 5th annual Mini-THON in the SMC from 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Millersville’s Mini-THON (MU Mini-THON) organizes fundraising events to benefit Four Diamonds: a non-profit organization to aid families coping with childhood cancer, along with funding the research for a cure for childhood cancer.

MU’s Mini-THON featured performances, games and activities, food stands, and prizes for students to win. The event cost had a $5 entrance fee for students, with all additional benefits going towards Four Diamonds. The event raised $6,815 for Four Diamonds. 

Other events in 2019 included tie-dying shirts, with students paying $5 to dye a t-shirt, and the “Dodging Cancer” dodgeball tournament with teams of 8 competing for Four Diamonds gear.

Charles and Irma Millard formed Four Diamonds in 1972 following their son’s, Christopher Millard, passing at age 14 due to childhood cancer. In his three-year battle, Christopher wrote a story titled “The four diamonds.” Christopher’s story represents courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength and led to the naming of the organization, with the Millard’s believing these four characteristics are key to overcoming childhood cancer.

The Penn State Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) inspires branching Mini-THONs and Four Diamond-based events. THON also began in 1972 and is an annual event held at Pennsylvania State University, PSU. THON features college students on their feet for 46 hours to raise awareness for childhood cancer. As of 2019, the events raised over $157,000,000 for Four Diamonds. In addition, THON is the largest student-run organization throughout the country.

Since the organization was created, over four thousand families have been supported, with Four Diamonds handling all medical expenses not covered by the family’s health insurance.

A large portion of funding comes from charitable events around the country, such as 5k races, 

restaurant promotions, and especially Mini-THON events held in high schools and colleges.

As a member of a Four Diamonds family, I am ecstatic to attend at a University that aids families in need. Combining the community’s efforts displays selflessness, as we are working for a cause greater than us as individuals. Please consider partaking in future MU Mini-THON events, as they are amazing ways to have fun while raising awareness and funds for a powerful movement.