Lots of good food keep LAMS students dancing the night away
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Students at Lehighton Area Middle School participated in a 12-hour dance marathon on Friday night to raise funds for Tristin Wentz, a sixth grade student who was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Front is Nicole Salerno; and from left, back row, Shelby Snyder, Paige Verrastro, Jasmine Rankovich, Perry Didyoung and Alex Rankovich.
Nearly 150 Lehighton Area Middle School danced the night away on Friday during a 12-hour dance marathon to raise funds for a classmate's medical fund.
Their friend, Tristan Wentz, was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
The event was coordinated by staff member John Lopata, but he had lots of help staying awake from approximately 20 staff members and six or seven parents of the dancing students.
The event raised approximately $6,000.
Lopata said that the students had an early dismissal earlier that day, but the faculty and staff were at school all day and many including Lopata stayed all night. Some of the parents were there for shorter term shifts of several hours.
A student DJ played the music and the children danced and talked and enjoyed being with each other. They also had plenty of snacks provided by local eateries, PTO and faculty members. The students had 15 minute breaks each hour, rotated by grade. Pizzas were provided by Alfies's Pizza, Mario's Pizza, Pizza Como, Pizza Hut, Verona Pizza and the Middle School faculty donated a 14 foot sub by Subway, plus the staff donated baked goods for break time. A family of one of the students donated the drinks.
"About 20 percent of the students at the school participated in the dance," said Lopata. "They did a good job raising the money." He added that some families donated funds even if the student could not attend.
Lopata said the event was put together in a few weeks time.
"We're doing this for Tristan," said Gregory Kovach, one of Tristan's sixth grade friends.
Mary Durishin, a mother who stayed the entire 12 hours said, "Knowing how quickly an illness can happen makes me want to go home and hug my child extra hard. The children, they know what its all about. That is why they're here."