This past weekend, my husband Larry and I (along with our fantabulous team-member Josh Musser) had the privilege and pleasure of DJing a 12-hour “miniTHON” in Spring Grove, PA. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a miniTHON is a dance marathon, usually held at middle or high schools, inspired by Penn State’s 46-hour THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Their collective mission is to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer through donations to the Four Diamonds Fund*. Larry danced in THON in 1977 as a student and has been involved ever since. In February, Larry Moore Productions celebrated 24 consecutive years as the exclusive DJ service for THON and April 5th marked our 11th phenomenal miniTHON experience at Spring Grove Middle School.
Led by Spring Grove’s ever-dynamic Health and Physical Education teacher (and Penn State alumni) Jessica Donnelly O’Brien, the participating students never cease to amaze us with their energy, enthusiasm and heart.
It’s a day filled with music and activities. Where voices are heard and spirits are lifted. Where tears of both indescribable joy – and unimaginable loss – are shed.
Where lives are celebrated…and changed. Together. As one.
The final total met with thunderous- and well-deserved – applause!
And it’s no wonder. The money raised at events like this one is important. Life changing. CRITICAL. The Four Diamonds Fund helps offset the astronomical bills faced by the families of the young patients after their insurance is tapped out, as well as the stress associated with it. We couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved!
But the dollar amount is only a portion of the beautiful outcome. The change involved isn’t limited to the shiny coins donated.
You see, these events benefit the souls of all involved. They provide a place for those courageous young visitors who may be battling the disease to dance, to play – to forget their pain for a little while – and just be kids. These occasions invite the families to share, to hug, to laugh and to cry with those whose arms are open and caring.
What’s more, these activities allow a new generation to connect with those who are having challenges they may not understand, maybe don’t even realize exist.
It’s a place to raise our “diamonds” in the air.
It’s a garden to foster empathy. It’s a time for hope. It’s a home for love.
You simply can’t put a dollar amount on that.
*The Four Diamonds – courage, wisdom, honesty and strength – were first introduced to us by the young, brave “Sir” Christopher Millard in the story of his own journey battling cancer. To learn more about the Four Diamonds and/or to donate to this important cause, please visit: http://www.pennstatehershey.org/web/fourdiamonds/home/aboutus/chris