Four Diamonds Mini-THON raises $5.5 million to fight childhood cancer

August 05, 2016

HERSHEY, Pa. — Kids are leading multimillion-dollar fundraising efforts to support pediatric cancer research. More than 70,000 student volunteers in 235 schools across five states teamed up to raise $5,526,281.63 to fight childhood cancer through Four Diamonds Mini-THONs during the 2015-16 school year, a $1.3 million increase from the previous year. The announcement was made this morning (Aug. 5) at the Mini-THON Leadership Summit.

Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON, the world’s largest student-run charity. This new wave of philanthropy has raised more than $23 million since 1993. The funds are used to drive the discovery of new and improved treatments for childhood cancer, through funding more than 70 pediatric cancer research team members at the Penn State College of Medicine, and to ensure that every child is treated for cancer at Penn State Children’s Hospital without any out-of-pocket costs for their families.

“Mini-THON has followed in the Penn State Dance Marathon’s footsteps to provide robust resources through Four Diamonds, propelling our clinical and research efforts to benefit children worldwide,” said Dr. Barbara A. Miller, chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Penn State Children’s Hospital. “We’re so grateful to the outstanding young leaders who have joined us as our partners in the fight to conquer childhood cancer.”

The Mini-THON Leadership Summit brought together more than 700 high school and middle school student leaders and nearly 200 advisers to share best practices, celebrate successes, and inspire each other to continue the fight.

“Mini-THON helped me develop my leadership skills, gave me the opportunity to grow, and taught me how to be a much more conscientious individual. Participating in Mini-THON has opened my eyes to the difference a young generation can make in the lives of so many people if we stay committed to a cause. My experience has been life-changing,” said Henry Bluestein, a student from Pennsbury High School.

Mini-THON has gained momentum over the past six years, growing 550 percent. 

“The impressive growth of this program demonstrates that Mini-THON students are inspired to have an impact and leave a legacy of service within their communities,” said Kristen Masengarb, associate director of Four Diamonds. “Mini-THON appeals to students because it’s kids helping kids, and the leadership development opportunities empower them to be part of this movement.”

“This generation is inspired to be a part of something bigger,” Masengarb added. “It makes me excited to see what these students will accomplish together.”

For more information about Mini-THON, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 11, 2016