Bellefonte

Bellefonte middle school students host Mini Thon as part of Day of Caring

Students walk outside the school to raise money. Bellefonte Area Middle School held a walk to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund as part of the United Way Day of Caring October 1, 2015.
Students walk outside the school to raise money. Bellefonte Area Middle School held a walk to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund as part of the United Way Day of Caring October 1, 2015. CDT photo

Teacher Kelly McManus took one for the team.

He agreed earlier in the week to be one of the teachers from Bellefonte Area Middle School to get pied in the face during the schoolwide Mini Thon on Thursday afternoon.

But it came with a stipulation that he would only do it as long as eighth-grade students Mackenzie Ebeling and Olivia Reiter danced the “Whip/Nae Nae” in front of McManus’ math class.

And they did.

In fact, the duo was part of an eight-member Bellefonte Cheer team that danced to the song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento.

It was the “icebreaker” to the dance marathon part of the event, said Assistant Principal Becky Michaels.

“The girls are working hard and having fun at it,” she said.

The school hosted the Mini Thon during school Thursday to raise money for the Four Diamonds fund, which financially helps families affected by childhood cancer.

The event was part of Day of Caring — a volunteer initiative through the Centre County United Way to help local organizations.

Their goal was to raise $12,000, which averaged about $19 per student, Michaels said, but they came up short.

“It was a little tricky, but our focus is less on the final number and more on giving,” Michaels said. “Last year we raised more money because it was something that impacted nearly everyone in the community. More people had an incentive to give because they knew (Dylan).”

Last year, students, faculty and staff participated in a walk-a-thon event for Day of Caring, which raised money for a fund called DC8 in honor of Dylan Crunick, a high school student who lost his life to cancer.

The goal was to raise $10,000, but the school raised $12,056, Michaels said.

Michaels said she hopes Thursday’s shortfall will strengthen future fundraising initiatives.

“We might continue it through the year until we reach the goal,” Michaels said.

Most students raised money individually.

Sarah Conner said she raised about $30 with the help of her family.

“It’s cool that we can help something bigger than the Bellefonte community,” she said.

The event began about 1 p.m. with a schoolwide walk-a-thon around the school’s grounds, followed by a dance marathon, Zumba competition and a chance for some students to pie their teachers in the face.

The cheer squad said they gathered about an hour before the Mini Thon to choreograph the “Whip/Nae Nae” dance.

“We’re pretty peppy so I think we’re a good fit to get everyone in the spirit,” said eighth-grader Anisha Weaver.

The public is encouraged to contribute to the fund by visiting the Bellefonte Area Middle School website.

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