Hampton students set goal to raise $40K for kids with cancer at Mini-THON
Students at Hampton High School have an ambitious goal of raising more than $40,000 to combat student cancer in their annual Mini-THON set for April 6.
Hampton is celebrating its fourth year holding the Mini-THON, a student-driven event hosted by the student council that rallies its fellow high school peers to partake in an activity-filled fundraiser that supports the Four Diamonds nonprofit organization dedicated to children dealing with cancer.
And for the first time they are also inviting those outside of the student population to take part in a portion of it.
“We just wanted to get the community involved more,” said Lauren Duderstadt, a senior who is the head of the public relations and design committee.
The public is welcome to attend the event at the high school from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with the opportunity to listen to speakers, buy raffle basket tickets and purchase food from local food trucks, the latter also a new addition, according to Duderstadt. And it helps the students raise money for a good cause.
For the students, the night is a busy one with the event lasting until midnight. Participating students can sign up to compete in volleyball or dodgeball games, said Duderstadt.
They will also enjoy games, karaoke, food, face painting and more, she said.
Close to the end of the night the students are presented with the final total of how much they raised, and then they have a dance party to celebrate, she said.
Last year, they brought in approximately $38,000.
Students set fundraising goals and donate as teams or individuals prior to the event, along with opportunities at the actual Mini-THON.
And she said there are some really good incentives to raise money. For the top team fundraisers, they will get Kenny Chesney concert tickets. And the top individual fundraiser will receive an iPhone X, she said.
“It's not as much about the prizes for everyone,” she said. “I just donate because I just want to help.”
Many local districts also hold similar events.
The food trucks scheduled to come are the Chop Shop, Franktuary, South Side BBQ, and Las Chicas, she said.
Students at the event will also enjoy pizzas donated from Pasquale's. And Buffalo Wild Wings is donating toward the wing-eating contest.
Eat'n Park is donating hundreds of Smiley Face cookies, she said.
Students get a lot of experience in putting the event together, said Kevin Green, a teacher at the high school and advisor to the student council. He helps with guidance and some handling of finances, but they're in charge.
“The kids build it all. It's pretty much their work,” he said, adding that it's just a great place for students to interact while winning some prizes and having fun.
“It empowers them in ways that traditional course assessments cannot because of the collective, cross-curricular nature of the project,” said Dr. Marguerite Imbarlina, high school principal.
“I am proud that students decide to take on this initiative year after year — it speaks to their willingness to serve others and solve real-world problems,” she said.
Duderstadt, who works with junior Sara Schriber on the same committee, said there are a lot of challenges, such as planning food, scheduling, and filling the night with things to do so there's not any “deadtime.”
“It's a lot of organizational thinking that I don't think we get in a school project,” she said.
There is also a fundraising committee, food committee and games committee.
Duderstadt, of Allison Park, also said Green is always there to offer assistance when needed and to help with overseeing finances they collect.
Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.