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Four Diamonds Mini-THON raises $7 million in 2017-2018 to fight childhood cancer

As Four Diamonds Mini-THON commemorates 25 years of helping families in the fight against childhood cancer, the program is celebrating the success of students, teachers and the community in raising more than $36 million over the last quarter century.

During the 2017-2018 school year, 100,000 student volunteers hosted 283 Mini-THONs, raising $7,036,560.82 for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children's Hospital. The fundraising total, which reflects a nearly $600,000 increase over the previous year, was announced this morning at the Mini-THON Leadership Summit in Hershey.

Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON, the world's largest student-run philanthropy. The money raised supports the discovery of better, more effective treatments for childhood cancer by funding the work of more than 80 pediatric cancer research team members at Penn State College of Medicine. It also ensures that the families of all children treated for cancer at Penn State Children's Hospital have no out-of-pocket costs.

“Funds raised through Mini-THON are essential for our team to conduct innovative research and to develop new therapies,” said Dr. Barbara A. Miller, chief of pediatric oncology and hematology at the Children's Hospital. “Research offers the best hope for a cure, and these students make our research possible.”

Mini-THON Leadership Summit 2018
Mini-THONs are organized by student leaders at each school, who recruit students to participate in fundraising activities, organization meetings and community events to inspire and empower young adults to rally behind the mission of conquering childhood cancer. The Mini-THON Leadership Summit brought together more than 1,000 people – including middle school and high school student leaders and advisors – to share best practices, celebrate successes and inspire each other to continue the fight as they organize Mini-THON events for the coming year.

Mini-THON gains more momentum every year: The number of schools holding Mini-THONs has nearly tripled since the 2009-2010 school year.

“We are so grateful for the remarkable young leaders who have joined the Mini-THON movement to conquer childhood cancer,” said Kristen Masengarb, director of the Four Diamonds Mini-THON program.

“Four Diamonds' commitment to youth leadership through Mini-THON is building the next generation of leaders, scientists, medical professionals and philanthropists,” said Masengarb. “We continue to be amazed by the dedication and passion of these students to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world.”

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