The Ship Rec was not just a gymnasium on Friday night.
It was a community center for Shippensburg University students and families to come together for an event called the Shippensburg University Mini-THON, which raises money for the Four Diamonds Fund, an organization that gives money directly to pediatric cancer patients, according to Nate Blass, the overall co-chair person of the event.
“It’ll cover their medical bills. It’ll pay for their therapists and their specialists. It’s really directly about the kids, so that’s why our motto is ‘for the kids.’ They are most worried about their well-being and making sure they get the best treatment possible,” Blass said. “Any unpaid medical bills that they have, they’re covered by Four Diamonds.”
The room was full of loud upbeat music by the student-run radio station WSYC, which entertained people from 6 p.m. Friday night to 3 a.m. Saturday. ShipRec transformed from a gymnasium to an enthusiastic dance floor when songs like “Gangnam Style,” “Cha Cha Slide,” “Wobble,” “Teach Me How to Dougie” and more filled the room. From bean bag tosses, to Frisbee throwing, to musical performances, to line dancing, to basketball and dodgeball tournaments and a 41-minute Zumba extravaganza, the amount of energy throughout the night exuded a positive and genuinely fun atmosphere.
At random, the participants would chant the three letters to the motto, ‘FTK,’ or ‘For the Kids’, in unison, causing each person to become part of the whole.
In order to make this night happen and be a success, hard work, time and dedication was put into making Mini-THON come alive.
“We started looking for committee members in February or March, and we did a couple events last semester just to get people to know we were around,” Blass said. “This semester, we’ve had about 15 different events in the last two and a half months or so. It’s been a lot of planning and a lot of volunteer time.”
Blass said each student who participated in the Mini-THON donated $15 to enter and $20 altogether if they chose to purchase a red Mini-THON T-shirt.
The ShipRec was a sea of red, as nearly every participant during the event purchased a T-shirt.
The committee’s goal for the total amount of money raised during Mini-THON was $10,000, according to Blass.
However, cheers and tears of joy were expressed at 3 a.m. when the committee proudly revealed that it surpassed the goal and raised a total of $12,737.05 for the Four Diamonds Fund.
The Shippensburg University Mini-THON success of this year can only bring hope to these children in need, and with the total as high as it was this year, one can only imagine what Shippensburg University will continue to do in order to give back in the future.