By Bella McCarey
Seven years and over $276,000 strong, the 2013 Red Lion Mini-THON comes to an emotional and much celebrated end after months upon months of planning.
The well known and respected charitable event the high school’s “Mini-THON” club holds every year came and went this past Friday night as hundreds of dancers cheered after the revelation of this year’s “almost total” of donations (money is still pending from a fundraiser at Locust Grove Elementary School and a community night which was recently held at the Great American Saloon). A final countdown of the last 10 seconds before everyone could sit down and the tears of departing seniors and exhausted dancers had concluded the successful night.
“I think it was successful because of the addition of a lot of new things such as the idea of the superhero theme, and a lot more small games [such as hula hoop races and the frozen t-shirt challenge],” said senior Jake Owens.
Dancers from start to finish, 6 am to 6 pm, were kept busy by doing everything from Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball tournaments, to Balloon-o-grams, to playing video games and participating in the line dance held at the beginning of every hour.
The teaching of the line dance and family hour kicked off the fun-filled night, and it helped to remind students why they were there and why they should be motivated to stay active on their feet for the whole 12 hours.
“I just want everyone to understand that the pain you get by standing for 12 straight hours does not compare to the amount of pain that the children and the families go through on a daily basis,” said senior chair Cary Anderson. “By sitting down you are giving up and sending a message that quitting is an option. The least we could do is stand 12 straight hours.”
Junior dancer Tori Heckert said, “My feet were killing me, I was dying but I had to hold out and it is such an accomplishment and I'm glad I have done it every year.”
Feet swelling up, backs aching, necks cramping up and heads spinning were just a couple symptoms of sleep deprived dancers. However, hunger and boredom were not as dancers were well fed with gratifying food that was ongoingly prepared and brought out by groups of dedicated volunteers and committee members.
“My favorite thing offered was swimming. It seemed to refresh me and push me on for the second half of the night,” said sophomore dancer Carissa Argento. “Even though that Mini-THON brings on a lot of pain and tiredness, it is totally worth it. The kids are what keep me moving. FTK!”
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One of this year’s chairs, senior Amanda Brown, pointed out the difficulty of facing her last Mini-THON at the high school. “It was very hard for me at the end because I realized it was my last one and that this would be the last time I would be with everyone. Just knowing that we are doing this for the kids is just so rewarding to everyone.”
The reactions to being on your feet for 12 hours are the same every year, but the effort is exerted for all the same reasons as well - that it is all for the kids. It is this truth that keeps everyone going.