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Despite pandemic, Four Diamonds Mini-THON raises $2.8 million to fight childhood cancer

Tens of thousands of students across Pennsylvania and in surrounding states have joined Four Diamonds to conquer childhood cancer by participating in Mini-THONs. Despite the changes the COVID-19 pandemic caused in K-12 education, which led to the cancellation of many Mini-THON events, 161 schools found creative ways for their student leaders and volunteers to continue their Mini-THON activities and raised $2,832,826.81 for Four Diamonds at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital during the 2020-21 school year. The fundraising total was announced this morning at the virtual Four Diamonds Mini-THON Leadership Summit.

Mini-THON is a Four Diamonds program coordinated by students in K-12 schools across Pennsylvania and neighboring states. The multi-hour, interactive events engage thousands of students each year and raise money to benefit Four Diamonds, which assists families with children being treated for cancer at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. Money raised by Mini-THON supports Four Diamonds families through world-class care and financial support, as well as ground-breaking research for new treatments and cures for all childhood cancers. Mini-THON was modeled after the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON). Since its inception in 1993, the Mini-THON program has cumulatively raised more than $52 million to help conquer childhood cancer.

“The young leaders who join the Four Diamonds mission to conquer childhood cancer are motivated and resilient, and they demonstrated those qualities repeatedly this year,” said Suzanne Graney, executive director of Four Diamonds. “The students who were able to participate stepped up, brought their creativity and can-do spirit, and found ways to successfully participate in Mini-THON either virtually or in a socially distanced fashion. Their determination to support Four Diamonds families is truly inspiring.”

Each year, the Mini-THON Leadership Summit brings together student leaders and advisors to celebrate successes, learn from each other, network and collaborate as they organize Mini-THON events for the coming year. Speakers at this year’s virtual summit included Four Diamonds co-founders Charles and Irma Millard and a Four Diamonds family.

For more information about Four Diamonds Mini-THON, visit

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