BASD Mini-THON, Living and Learning at Penn State’s Big Dance

One of Pennsylvania’s newest Mini-THONs made the trip to Penn State this weekend, and the experience is sure to translate to another great year for the young program.

BASD Mini-THON, a 12-hour long rendition of Penn State’s big dance, is now in its third year of existence. The organization is a mix of students from Freedom and Liberty High Schools in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, just three hours away from University Park.

The organization was started when a group of students from the two schools, already interested in Penn State’s THON, realized that Bethlehem’s two high schools could host a very successful Mini-THON on its own. Some of this year’s captains are at THON this weekend to enjoy the sights, pick up some tips, and continue to be inspired by the kids.

“We have about six captains here this weekend. We were hoping for a few more but the snow put a damper on that,” freshman and former BASD Mini-THON overall captain Evan Anthony explained. “We’ve had a little more in years past, but it’s an inspiration for all the captains, especially the younger ones, to make our mini-THON something special, just like THON is.”

Last year’s THON raised more than $13 million for the Four Diamonds Fund. No Mini-THON’s total can compare to that, but BASD has proven itself as a legitimate source for donations. In its first year, the group set its goal at $10,000, and the next year at $20,000. Although seemingly lofty goals for a new program, the two high schools had no issue surpassing them.

“Last year we raised $57,000 for BASD Mini-THON. Our second largest amount totaled so far was $23,000 in our first year, so that makes it $80,000 in our first two years. It’s really exciting for our very small Mini-THON in only our second year,” Anthony explained.

Even after two impressive years, the members still can’t help but be in awe at Penn State.

“Penn State’s THON is something completely different. It’s humbling to know how hard I worked last year that a lot of these people here somehow work even harder. I can only admire that,” he said.

BASD Mini-THON’s goal this year is to raise $65,000. Judging by the increase over its first two years, the goal is definitely attainable, but it won’t be easy. Still, the high schoolers take advantage of what their community has to offer, and fundraisers are a significant part of the organization every year, including golf outings, color runs, restaurant nights, and canning at sporting events.

“[Support for BASD Mini-THON] has definitely been increasing with the community involvement. We try to get the whole school district involved by inviting elementary school families and the whole district basically, but there’s a lot of support from the whole community,” Fundraising Captain Kelly McCready said.

BASD Mini-THON 2015 will be held on April 11 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Liberty High School. Visit their website for more information on the organization and how to become a sponsor for the great cause.

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Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.

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