Mini-THON fundraiser goes virtual tonight

Despite moving to an online platform, Baldwin will continue plans to host the annual Mini-THON.

Image via Four Diamonds

Despite moving to an online platform, Baldwin will continue plans to host the annual Mini-THON.

It won’t be a 12-hour all-nighter, but tonight is the night for Baldwin’s third annual Mini-THON for childhood cancer and research.

Plans originally had been made over the course of the year for a scaled-back, in-person event, with only 100 students allowed to participate. But with COVID-19 numbers rising, the live event was canceled and changed into a Google Meet on the Mini-THON’s Canvas page from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight.

While the late change came as a surprise to students and staff planning the event, they were well prepared, senior executive board member Cassie Pantelis said.

“This year we had to plan for both an in-person and a virtual event,” Pantelis said. 

When it comes to the planned activities that were scheduled for the event, Pantelis said the talent show, which opens Mini-THON, will go virtual because all the acts submitted videos of their performances.

“For the talent show we will be able to watch all the acts and then voting will be online as well,” Pantelis said. 

Students can view and vote on their favorite acts in the talent show by making donations until 8 p.m. today through this website:

While the Mini-THON is tonight, students have been fundraising all year, Olivia Allen, another senior executive board member, said.

“We normally do multiple fundraisers throughout the year. This year we sold Pura Vida bracelets, masks, lollipops, and pepperoni rolls,” she said.

Stall Day — in which students donate money and teachers “stall” the start of class until all of the money is counted — is another major fundraiser. Mini-THON participants also get donations from family and friends through their own Donor Drive web page.

“Stall Day is also a big moneymaker. Things like this, along with individual fundraising on Donor Drive, helps us raise money for Mini-THON leading up to the actual event,” Allen said.

Allen said there are many reasons why she feels so strongly about Mini-THON.

“It feels great to know that I am making a difference in the lives of families in need. I am eager to do anything I can to relieve some of the stress that these people face,” she said.

Allen also has a personal connection to this cause.

“I also have a close friend who was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. I know how hard that has been on her family and it means a lot that I can help other people going through the same thing,” she said.

Despite the numerous changes and setbacks caused by the pandemic, the executive board and staff have tried to ensure that Mini-THON, although remote and condensed, still will be fun this year. 

English teacher Leah Younkins, a Mini-THON co-sponsor, said that even though this year will not be the same as previous years, the cause is the same, making everything worth it. 

“I was upset (about losing the live event), but with Covid numbers what they are, I can understand and respect the decision,” Younkins said. “I try to focus on the positives — that we are still raising money for a great cause: pediatric cancer research.”

Rachel Murrman, another co-sponsor and English teacher, talked about how hard the students on the executive board have worked to prepare for the event this year.

“Even with the challenges this year has presented, our kids have not given up on their efforts to pursue this great cause and they have worked tirelessly to fundraise, increase awareness, and reach out for donations,” she said.