Amanda Horak, Sabrina Bilotta, and Anna Sirianni
$13,000 was raised for pediatric cancer research leading up to Jan. 8-9: the fourth-annual NHS THON.
In years past, students fundraised independently and donated all proceeds to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This year’s THON was linked with the Penn State THON through Four Diamonds Fund, which allowed students to fundraise online. All proceeds were donated to the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
THON was organized by the student body government and made possible by teacher chaperones and parents who donated food. Class of 2013 Graduate Carly Stephens returned to speak to students about her battle with cancer and life in remission, which made the event even more meaningful for participants.
Student government planned fundraisers throughout the week leading up to the event such as a Panera night and daily food sales. The enthusiastic officers and cabinet members did their best at getting all students to participate in each activity leading up to and at THON.
“You feed off of everybody’s energy,” said cabinet member Abby Bultemeier after the clock passed 1 a.m. Bultemeier said setting up throughout the night to transition between activities was the most fun and challenging part.
Although not a member of student government, Senior Tim Heffernan quickly jumped in to help out during the limbo competition, when he saw a need for a commentator (or announcer) and a vacant microphone.
“The limbo was my debut in the commentary realm. I gotta say, I was getting some rave reviews from the fans in the crowd,” Heffernan said. “By popular demand, I’m gonna be back for the rest of the events of the evening.”
And back he was.
Heffernan served as the color commentator for the events throughout the rest of the night, including teacher sumo wrestling and musical chairs.
Though staying energized was a challenge for some who fell asleep, Heffernan found a way to stay awake the entire night.
“I pounded some Mountain Dew; we’re not tired at all,” he said, nodding to fellow senior Thomas Slattery. “I’m goin’ all night...I really want to transfer my energy to the crowd.”
Next to Heffernan, Thomas Slattery was focused on other methods to stay energized.
“What’s keeping me awake is the thought of winning handball. I’m psyched baby. We know we’re gonna win.” he said of his team, ‘THON Cena,’ who’d just lost the dodgeball competition. The team felt prepared to handball after hours of practice during Team Sports class, in which they’d formed “chemistry,” Slattery said.
“We’re gonna come in with a level mindset and focus on winning.”
Aside from the dodgeball and handball competitions, students at THON competed to win a hover board over the course of several competitions. Tobi Oliveira conquered Grace Wu and Michael Iverson in bobbing for apples and ended as the overall champion.
Sophomore Bernadette del Prado “had a lot of fun watching all of the competitions,” she said. “It’s really great at how much money we raised too.”