By Bella McCarey
From the moment students started filing through the doors of the commons, the excitement and positive energy filled the atmosphere until if felt as though the hundreds of dancers were going to burst.
Dancers began shouting, running around to work off jitters and even beginning to sweat… and the night was still young.
Four Diamonds children were bubbling with energy as their parents played a game of “catch the chicken”, attempting to chase their lively kids.
The 9th annual Mini-THON officially kicked off at 6:30 pm with the traditional group photo and the teaching of the line dance. Students were dismissed out to the commons but were told to remain close for every hour, the dancers would meet back in the Fitzkee Center for the line dance and at 7 pm, Family Hour was to take place.
“Four Diamonds to us and all our families, means the world to us,” said father of Autumn Zeller. “It’s just amazing how you’re not alone during the journey, you don’t have to worry about the bills and I’m glad to announce that May 28, Autumn will be declared cancer-free.”
Among some of the families to share their stories were Red Lion Senior High’s own Billy Jackson and Trevor Vitz. “I promised everyone here a hug, but you all didn’t need to line up at once,” junior Jackson said, referring to the hundreds of dancers lined up in a circle around the gym.
Sophomore Trevor Vitz, who had been diagnosed with stage 2 Adenold Cystic Carcinoma, had gone through 11 hours of anesthesia before enduring 12 long hours of surgery to remove the tumors in his face and head. Following weeks of radiation therapy, Vitz was happy to share that he has since been cancer-free and was able to grow 8 inches and gain 50 pounds.
The stories that had been shared are the reminder to dancers why they are there, why they are dancing and standing for 12 hours.
Family hour was just the beginning of the night. More updates to come, covering live events and activities.