• April 10, 2019

    USC Mini-THON raises $58,476

    Mini-THON Upper St. Clair High School students recently raised $58,476.69 through the third annual USC Mini-THON – exceeding their $50,000 goal. The event benefits Four Diamonds, an organization that assists children who are battling cancer and their families at Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey.

    “I feel incredibly proud to have raised more than $50,000 to help such a great cause. It is truly an amazing sight when so much of the school population works together to reach a goal,” senior Lexi Feldman, one of seven student organizers, said. “That said, it was never about reaching our goal; it's about bringing the community together for the kids.”

    The event is a student-led initiative under the leadership of an all-student executive board that includes seniors Peyton Ciesco, Lexi Feldman, Nikki Gibbons, Rachel Harris, Dina Leyzarovich, Nandita Mahesh and Nate Murphy. In total, more than 75 Upper St. Clair High School students were involved in planning the event. Brooke Tarcson, activities coordinator, serves as advisor and faculty liaison.

    “Every year I am amazed that seniors – who have already accepted college admissions and have their sights set on the future – would devote this much time and energy to an event in April!” Mrs. Tarcson said. “I am so proud of our students and the work they have accomplished!”

    Mini-THON kicked-off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019. The first few hours were devoted to Community Time, which offered food, games and activities for all ages. Beginning at 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Saturday, nearly 350 high school students were on their feet in support of families who are battling childhood cancer.

    According to members of the USC Mini-THON executive board, community involvement is a key aspect of the event.

    Mini-THON board “Whether it is donating to our Donor Drive page, showing up to community time, or chaperoning during the night, everyone can do their part in making the event a success!” senior Rachel Harris said.

    As a vivid reminder of why students were gathered, two local families – the Kutchell and Fera families – shared their personal stories of how childhood cancer has impacted their lives and how efforts such as Mini-THON are needed and appreciated.

    “Our students never fail to impress me,” Dr. Louis Angelo, principal said. “From our student leaders who took the reins and led this initiative to those who participated in the 12-hour event, their collective efforts will make a tremendous difference for children and their families.”

    The USC Mini-THON executive board set an ambitious goal of raising $50,000 after raising $41,098 last year and $17,531 in its inaugural year, 2017.

    “At the beginning of this experience, just the thought of raising $50,000 was frightening,” Lexi said. “The moment when I realized that we exceeded that goal made me realize just how big of a difference we are making as a community.”

    According to the Four Diamonds website, “Mini-THONs are interactive events for students of all ages that inspire teamwork, leadership and creativity, while empowering youth and young adults through philanthropy and community service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer. Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) and have been making a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families since 1993.”

    With more than 90,000 student volunteers and 283 schools in eight states, Mini-THONs are making a difference for children and their families. During the 2017-18 school year, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges raised more than $7 million for Four Diamonds.

    For more information about the USC Mini-THON, including how you can support this effort, please contact Brooke Tarcson, activities coordinator, at 412-833-1600 ext. 2264 or btarcson@uscsd.k12.pa.us.