Over 50 Tamaqua Area High School students donated a good portion of their Saturday to raise awareness and donations for pediatric cancer research during the Tamaqua Area Student Government's (TASGA) 2nd annual Mini-THON. The mini-dancathon, held in the gymnasium, lobby and pool, consisted of dancing, DJ music, bands, co-ed teacher vs. students basketball tournament, large inflateables, moon-bounce, dunk tank, body paint, food and much more.

The $4,000 raised during the event will go to "Camp Can Do," a camp for pediatric cancer patients. The theme of the event is "Kids Helping Kids."

TAGS President Nicki Mateyak stated her pride in the event, stressing it is open to all ages. TAGS vice President Emily Demyanovick stressed that the event is expected to be better than last year.

"This event goes to a great cause," added Mateyak. TAGS adviser Steve Ulicny, stated the event is modeled from the Penn State's successful "Thon" dance marathon. He added that Tamaqua students started the American Cancer Society's telethon at the school many years ago. It still runs to this day. "Volunteers and students would phones in classrooms while entertainers performed in the court yard," said Ulicny. "We hope this event will also remain a tradition long into the future. This event re-establishes the connection between the school, American Cancer Society and the community."

"The purpose of Camp 'Can' Do is to provide a fun, residential camping experience for children, ages six to seventeen, that have been treated for a serious burn injury," said Mateyak. "Camp 'Can' Do provides a safe, supportive, fun outdoor environment and a variety of social, recreational, and educational activities for campers. Camp activities include fishing, swimming, boating and canoeing, games, ropes courses, arts and crafts, entertainment, a dance party, field trips, firefighter relay games and so on. Camp 'Can' Do provides opportunities for personal growth, increased self-esteem, and development of leadership skills. Their goal is to provide a camp where children and teens can play and have fun with others who have shared similar medical experiences."

The event also included a special appearance by "The Rebel Legion", Star Wars Reenacting Group. The cost to enter the event is any donation you can afford.

Student bands from the area as well as DJs who donated their entertainment throughout the 8-hour event were DJ Brandon Fritz, Waking Up Dead, Shane and Livi, Jake Kulick, Toolshed Jack and others.

For more information about the event, visit them on Facebook.

"The students really put a lot of work into this," said Ulicny. "Its kids helping kids."