Students at Valley Stream North High School put on a phenomenal and successful mini-THON, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their determination to make a difference for children with cancer resulted in a one-of-a-kind virtual event that raised a total of $11,927 for the Four Diamonds organization.
Mini-THON raises money for childhood cancer research and to help the families of children with cancer pay their medical bills. Students at North embraced the motto “For the Kids” in honor of the cause.
The initiative was student-run, with Casey Wells, Hannah Indiviglio and Ally Wells taking the reins as organizers for the second consecutive year. The three-hour virtual mini-THON, which drew more than 50 participants, featured Zoom events including NORTH BINGO, Color War, a Scavenger Hunt, IncoHEARent, SponTUNEous, Giant Kahoot, Yoga and the traditional line dance. Committee chairs Stephany Abraham, Leema Caravan, Madeline Chiu, Alyssa Garufi, Hannah Lee, Vito Oliveri, Erin Quinn, Zanaib Raja, Marisa Tartamella and Anna Westfall handled specific details such as communications, fundraising, entertainment and finance. Students picked up packages with bandanas, glow sticks and other items prior to the digital festivities.
Last year’s in-person gathering included dancing, music and games. Upon the COVID-19 outbreak, the students quickly adapted their current plans and brainstormed ways to build up enthusiasm and engagement despite being physically apart.
Several activities contributed to the efforts leading up to the actual mini-THON. Prior to the school closure, North held a volleyball tournament that raised more than $2,000 for Four Diamonds. April 20-24 was celebrated as the virtual kickoff during which each day was assigned a specific theme that helped raise awareness. Despite the shift to a digital-based initiative, the fundraising held strong. Donors purchased “diamonds” that were displayed in the windows of homes and supported Four Diamonds.
Photos courtesy of Valley Stream CHSD