Sunday, March 28, 2010

Diamonds Are A Family's Best Friend

I haven't worked on my WIP much the last two days but I have a terrific excuse. I'm not even going to call it an excuse but rather a very good reason. For the last four years, Lower Dauphin High School has hosted a mini-thon to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund.

I know Four Diamonds isn't known to everyone but if you live in Pennsylvania you probably heard of it. If you attended Penn State University, you've heard of it. If you know a child who was treated at Hershey Medical Center for cancer, you've heard of it.

Every year the students at Penn State hold a dance-athon and raise money to support the Four Diamond. They raise millions of dollars to insure no parents will ever have to worry about paying for medical bills if their child is being treated for cancer at the medical center. A few years ago many local high schools joined the efforts by holding shorter versions of the thons held by PSU.

For twelve hours starting Friday night at 7:00 the students at Lower Dauphin danced, play sports tournaments, cooked, played video and board games and had fun. What they didn't do was sit down, sleep or forget their reasons for being there. The theme posted all about the school was FTK, for the kids. As a teacher and parent I can't tell you what it meant to see those young people giving their time, suffering minor discomforts and understanding how lucky they are to be healthy and able to help someone else. If you had been there you would all have wanted my job and understood why I love teaching teenagers.

Many parents volunteered to chaperon, donate food and of course helped their students in raising over $25,000 and still counting incoming donations. A few of us stayed up all night with the kids and at my age, I know I'll never get those hours of sleep back and my feet have yet to forgive me, but I wouldn't have missed it.

If you have children in school, check out your district and see if they do anything like this. If they do, I hope you'll find a way to help. For The Kids.


  1. What a wonderful group of teenagers. Congratulations on raising so much for a good cause. Hope you're sitting down now with your feet in warm water (or better yet, getting a massage).

    Straight From Hel

  2. Awesome! Kids and teens continually impress me with their generosity and caring. Wonderful!!

  3. I sat in a not bath yesterday, Helen, and by evening my feet felt better.
    I agree with you, Jemi, they impress me too.

  4. What a great event! Given a chance, kids will be original and work their tails off for a cause!

  5. It is a wonderful time, Lucy. Teenagers get a bad rap for all kinds of things but we too often underestimate them.

  6. It's a great charity. It's cool where the name for the charity came from. Kind of appropriate for your site.

    The 14 year old boy (who's parents started the fund) wrote a fantasy story about a squire on a quest to find the Four Diamonds to prove his knighthood.

    He sought to find the diamond of honesty, the diamond of strength, the diamond of wisdom, and the diamond of courage.

    The author succumbed to his cancer, but wrote the story while he was battling it. You can check it out here -

  7. I'm so glad you know about them, Ava. We always have an assembly to kick off the fund raising and the kids in treatment tell the story and then speak to the students. The high school kids are so good you can hear a pin drop while they listen. Many of them cry.

  8. Ava's post for how the fund started gave me huge goosebumps!! Very touching history to a great event!

    I love kids and this event is just another example of how much can get done when teens are encouraged and boundaries removed for exploration and adventure!

    Thanks Susan Kelley-- for sharing this post!

  9. As a high school teacher, I'm endlessly impressed with young people, Windy. They have such big hearts.