The word “mini” is deceiving. It brings to mind something small. But King’s College students thought big when they planned their first KC Mini-THON.
You can only dance so long before you get tired or bored. And some people may not want to dance at all. But if you want to have a dance marathon, what do you do?
Well, if you’re the student organizers of King’s College’s KC Mini-THON, you add games and a pageant to draw more participants and to make the 12 hours go by faster.
The KC Mini-THON to aid the fight against pediatric cancer will take place from 7 p.m. Friday through 7 a.m. Saturday at the Scandlon Gymnasium on King’s Wilkes-Barre campus.
The event is modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON). Mini-THONs have been making a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families for the past 20 years.
“We really wanted to make this event our own,” said Ed Rosengrant, an overall team captain along with Laura Ortiz and Fizza Saeed.
About 167 students have signed up to participate, he said. “When we began, we thought we’d be lucky to have 75 people sign up,” he said. “But we’re really excited that we have been surpassing all our expectations.”
The main draw is the “Mr. King’s” pageant in which 10 male students will compete for a sash, crown and bragging rights as winner of the title “Mr. King’s.” The ceremony will start at 8 p.m. and feature formal wear and a talent competition. (Sorry ladies, no swimwear event.)
Breaks were scheduled into the 12 hours of dancing, Rosengrant said, but not to give participants a rest. The breaks are merely diversions from dancing.
Amusing events such as basketball, a dodgeball tournament and playing human Mario cards still count as movement. “Twelve hours on your feet continuously dancing seemed like a lot to most people,” Rosengrant said. “And some people were worried that they had to be a good dancer. So we decided to mix things up a bit, and we really started to get an influx in our number of participants.”
The mini-THON also will include a lip-syncing portion, and students hope to bring faculty members on stage to lip sync in front of the audience.
A local DJ will provide music suitable for dancing and listening. Area businesses donated refreshments.
KC Mini-THON is actually a year-long fund-raising and awareness campaign for pediatric cancer. Planning for the dance marathon began in August, and money for the campaign will be collected until May.
A committee of 36 student members along with 12 captains, three overall captains and two advisers planned the dance and solicited community donations.
Throughout the school year, students conducted other fundraisers such as a pancake breakfast and spaghetti dinner.
More than 130 schools and 25,000 student participate in mini-THONs each year to raise money for the Four Diamonds Foundation. So far, King’s has raised $7,800.
Rosengrant, who will pursue his master’s degree at King’s next year as a student teacher, said the college hopes to make the KC Mini-THON an annual event.