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The bell rings, classes flood into the halls, and students begin filling the gym. The bleachers are filled with students wearing shirts marked with a four diamond logo. Game supplies are scattered about the room and a microphone stands ready. This isn’t an everyday assembly, it is the Red Lion Mini-THON kickoff assembly.
As seventh period ended, students watched a Mini-THON video produced by Ben Otte to introduce the idea of the event. This featured families who have been impacted by cancer and helped by the Four Diamonds Foundation. The foundation helped families in need and provided financial support to children at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
Red Lion Senior High School annually conducts a Mini-THON event to help raise money for a family that has been affected by cancer. This year, the Knepp family was sponsored. On October 13, 2014, a young kindergarten student named Landen was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer.
A speech was given by his mother, Katie Knepp, who told the story of Landon and how their family was impacted. “When the Four Diamonds representative came and told us that we didn’t have to worry about any medical bills, there was a huge weight off of our shoulders,” Knepp said. “I can not even imagine the amount of money we would have had to pay without something like Four Diamonds.”
After the speech, several games were hosted by the Mini-THON chair members. Volunteers were selected from the crowd to play each game. Students participated in Mummy, Junk in the Trunk, and a free throw competition. Classmates cheered and music blared as the school watched the games take place.
On January 11, 2016, Landen was officially in remission from his cancer. His family hosted a party to celebrate, and now looks forward to attending THON. “We’re incredibly excited and honored to be apart of this. I know he can’t wait to be here.” Knepp said. The Red Lion Area Senior High School Mini-THON will be on April 6, 2016.