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Milton Hershey School Students Help Others through Mini-THON

More than 200 Milton Hershey School students spearheaded a massive fundraising campaign over the past several months that raised $55,766 for the Four Diamonds Fund. The students, teachers, and MHS staff celebrated their accomplishments during an all-night Mini-THON on March 15-16.

“You did something over the past several months that could possibly give somebody, somewhere, several years or several weeks with their child that they might not have had,” John Karavage, MHS Student Government Association advisor, told the crowd during the Mini-THON’s final assembly.

Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, THON. Students gain work-ready skills in communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving while promoting teamwork, creativity, and spirit.

The Four Diamonds Fund covers 100 percent of medical expenses related to cancer care not covered by insurance. Four Diamonds assists 100 percent of the childhood cancer patients who are treated at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

The students kicked off their fundraising efforts in January. Over the next two months, they sold numerous items and hosted special events such as a dodgeball tournament. All participating students continued to focus primarily on their education during the fundraising period while also participating in other extracurricular activities.

MHS staff assisted students with the fundraising efforts and more than 70 volunteered as Mini-THON chaperones. The all-night event featured games, dancing, swimming, and crafts. Students closed the event with a solemn luminary walk. Attendees slowly walked through lights lit in memory of those whose lives were taken by cancer.

MHS 12th-grade student Barack Hassan, one of the top student fundraisers, said participating in Mini-THON was important because it allowed him to focus on helping others.

“I believe in supporting pediatric cancer patients and their families,” Barack said. “Working hard for this cause is driven by the understanding that every contribution can make a meaningful difference in their lives.”

Barack’s classmate, Katherine Peters, said she enjoyed the challenge of raising money to help others.

“Despite the difficulties, my focus has remained on my goal of graduating and leaving behind a positive legacy,” Katherine said. “The generosity of others is truly heartwarming. This experience was both rewarding and enjoyable, and I hope to continue making a difference as an alumnus by helping others in need.”

Barack, Katherine, and some of their fellow students got a first-hand look at the result of their efforts. The day before Mini-THON, the top MHS fundraisers received an exclusive tour of Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Milton Hershey School's top Mini-THON fundraisers receive a special tour of a special tour of Penn State Children’s Hospital.

More than 200 schools host Mini-THONs, but the MHS Mini-THON is extra special because of the school’s relationship with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The medical center, and other Hershey Community Partners, nurture relationships with our students through internships, job shadowing, and more.

Read More about Student Character and Leadership at MHS

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.