Benchmark Students Raise $13,829.68 to Help Conquer Childhood Cancer

Even a wild thunderstorm couldn't dampen the spirits at Benchmark's 5th Annual Mini-THON on April 26, 2019! The three-hour event was moved inside, but the energy, excitement, and action remained high as the school community came together for a great cause.

The Student Leadership Team chose "High Hopes" as this year's theme and successfully led the 120 participants to raise a recording-breaking $13,829.68 for Four Diamonds. The students who participated (71% of the student body) took part in a variety of activities, including group sports, games, and the traditional line dance. The only requirement was that students remain standing for the entire three hours...and they did!

All donations from our Mini-THON® will support Four Diamonds, whose mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.

Many thanks to all of those who supported the event which their generous contributions and to all students, staff, and faculty who helped make this event an outstanding success. Special thanks to the Mini-THON Student Leadership Team of Ashley Schnyder, Gabby Paolella, Matt Niznan, Brooks Larsen, Sofia Juarez, Jon Hanway, Lilly Hornickle, Judy Horn, Reese Dyson, and Adriana Dannaker. We also want to thank Benchmark alumnus DJ Ethan Mazer '12 for once again providing an exciting and energizing soundtrack that kept the students on their feet and on the move!

We especially want to recognize the extraordinary efforts of Lower School Supervisor Colleen O'Hara who for the 5th year expertly guided the Student Leadership Team during the many months of planning, problem-solving, brainstorming, fundraising, and team building! 

What is a Four Diamonds Mini-THON®?

Four Diamonds Mini-THONs are fun-filled events for students of all ages which inspire teamwork, leadership, and creativity while empowering young people through philanthropy and service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer. Mini-THONs benefit Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. It is a  fun-filled, multi-hour event modeled after the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON™). 

On Friday, April 26, students who registered for Mini-THON® participated in a variety of activities, including sporting events, snacking, dancing, and games. The only requirement was that students stay on their feet for the entire 3 hours. Click here to learn more about Four Diamonds. 

How can my child(ren) participate in Mini-THON®?

All Benchmark students are invited to participate in Mini-THON®.  In order to participate, students must register by submitting  a permission slip and $10 registration fee (payable to "Benchmark School"), which covers the cost of a T-shirt and some of the supplies needed to hold this event. Permission slips and registration fee must be received at Benchmark School no later than Wednesday, April 3.

To download a permission slip, please click here.

Can I purchase Mini-THON® merchandise?

Yes! Show your support "For The Kids" (FTK) with Four Diamonds Mini-THON Merchandise! Items for sale include FTK bracelets, FTK drawstring bags, FTK pins, Four Diamonds phone wallets, window stickers, Four Diamonds pens, and FTK Headbands. Download the Order Form here! 

How are donations for Four Diamonds being collected?

To raise money for our Mini-THON®, students are encouraged to request donations from family members and friends.  Students may bring in their donations (cash or check made payable to "Benchmark School") to their Language Arts classrooms.  If you would like make a secure, online donation to the Benchmark School Mini-THON, please click here.

 For more information about Four Diamonds and to view a short video clip about Mini-THON®, please click here. It's all "For The Kids" (FTK®)! 

2020 Mini-THON

Friday,  April 24

3:00 to 6:00 PM

It was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of this year’s Mini-THON® student leadership team. I learned so much about planning a Mini-THON®, had a great time, and can only hope that with the money we raised ‘For the Kids,’ a cure to pediatric cancer will be found very soon!

Ashley Schnyder


Colleen O'Hara
Lower School Supervisor