NJHS Thon event raises money for charity

A group of ninth grade girls get on the dance floor and dance the night away. There was  DJ at Thon and he played whatever song that students wanted him to play.
Photo by Hanna Feathers

Picasa

A group of ninth grade girls get on the dance floor and dance the night away. There was DJ at Thon and he played whatever song that students wanted him to play. Photo by Hanna Feathers

The sound of laughter echoes throughout the gym; delighted screams of ninth grade National Junior Honors Society members seem to fill the air of the junior high fieldhouse. Hundreds of students, decked in the athletic gear of their choice, fill both the A and B Gyms as they participate in activities such as badminton, basketball, and dancing.

These students have gathered in the junior high Friday, April 11 from 5 to 10 p.m. for one purpose and one purpose only: to take part in Thon, the National Junior Honor Society’s fundraising event. In previous years, the NJHS has chosen to hold an annual daffodil sale as its main fundraising event. This year, however, the organization decided to hold a new type of fundraiser in its place.

“We had a meeting with our officers and just started brainstorming different ideas to do for a group community service project. The suggestion had actually come from one of the teachers,” National Junior Honors Society advisor and ninth grade English teacher, Autumn Barry-Kyle said. “It was around Penn-State’s Thon, so it was fresh in everyone’s brain, and we just kind of decided to make it ours.”

Members who participated had to stay active for five hours while partaking in a number of activities that included badminton, basketball, dancing, hula hooping, jump roping, and walking.

“I wasn’t very ecstatic about it (Thon) at first, but I got really excited and had a lot of fun during the time that I was there,” ninth grade National Junior Honors Society member Christina Evans said. “I was playing badminton, and I actually made some awesome saves!”

The National Junior Honors Society members had the task of collecting patrons for the event. These patrons had the choice of either donating a flat money amount or pledging an amount for every hour that the student kept moving.

“I liked that the kids were more working for their donations, not just selling something or having their parents sell something,” Barry-Kyle said. “They personally had to be involved.”

The event, which collectively raised over $6,700 for the Mountain Lion Backpack Program, was chaperoned by Barry-Kyle, as well as John Wharton, Kylee Knauff, Vida Szabat, Principal Lori Mangan, and Assistant Principal Jerry Koehle. These teachers supervised the event, set up contests for the students to partake in, and made sure that everything ran smoothly.

“I thought it was fine,” ninth grade National Junior Honors Society member Hanna Wyland said about the organization and supervision of the event. “I mean, the teachers came out and danced with us, so they weren’t super strict, but they made sure that everyone was safe.”

Wyland was just one of the 110 students who participated in Thon. She, along with her friends who attended the event, stated that they had fun at the event and hope that the National Junior Honors Society holds a similar fundraiser next year.

“A lot of people don’t do daffodil sales, like, I know I don’t because my parents don’t want to, they’ll just do fair share, but I think you actually had fun at this, so I thought you got more out of it,” Wyland said.

Teacher and students, such as Barry-Kyle and Evans, regarded the event as a success.

“I really enjoyed it,” Barry-Kyle said. “It was nice to see all of the kids come out and participate.”

A group of ninth grade girls get on the dance floor and dance the night away. There was  DJ at Thon and he played whatever song that students wanted him to play. Photo by Hanna Feathers
A group of ninth grade girls get on the dance floor and dance the night away. There was DJ at Thon and he played whatever song that students wanted him to play.
Photo by Hanna Feathers