SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Participants of the Schuylkill Haven Middle School Mini-Thon. In 2022, more than 90,000 students across the country joined to help conquer childhood cancer.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh graders at Schuylkill Haven Middle School spent the entire school year collecting money to support the latest breakthroughs in childhood cancer research.

“This is our Mini-Thon. This is for kids with cancer. We’re raising funds for those in need of four diamonds,” said Lillian McDonald Mini-Thon, Student Vice President.

Four Diamonds’ mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.

“We used to have it inside. In march covid hit, that’s when we started last year having it outside,” said Nancy Geiger, Mini-Thon, teacher, co-chair.

Students took advantage of the nice weather to run relay races, dance, and even make a splash with the principal in a dunk tank.

“Our goal is to try and eradicate it and do our best in our part to try and help those who can’t fight for themselves. So we’re doing our best for that,” said Matt Buletza, Schuylkill Haven Middle School Principal.

This year, Schuylkill Haven Middle School students raised more than $31,000, towards the school’s philanthropic efforts.

“If you really want to feel good about yourself, do something for someone else. And that’s what they do every year,” said Dr. Shawn Fitzpatrick, Schuylkill Haven Superintendent of Schools.

The planning committee is primarily comprised of student volunteers under the guidance of teacher advisors.

“They come up with the theme, they pick their snacks, they get their snacks, they designed the t-shirt, so it’s all student leadership,” said Nancy Geiger.

“We get our kids involved at every level and I think that creates a really great environment,” said Pam Leimaster, Mini-Thon, teacher, co-chair.

“I’m very excited about it because I love to help other people,” said Lillian McDonald, Mini-Thon student, Vice President.

After a tiring day in the sun, students are ready for next year’s Thon.

“We start tomorrow to plan for next year,” said Pam Leimaster.

With the addition of this year’s $31,000, the middle school has now collectively raised more than $150,000 for childhood cancer research during their six thons.

A powerful and interesting statistic Eyewitness News learned Monday: Every year in the United States, 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer. That is the equivalent of two classrooms of kids every day.

That is why the beautiful fundraising efforts on display by all of the Schuylkill Haven Hurricanes, are so very needed at this time.