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From Committee to Community

Reaching Higher For The Kids

On March 3, 2023, the final total of Hempfield’s first-year Mini-THON was revealed, an awe-inspiring $57, 607.95 for pediatric cancer research. That total produced an enormous amount of pride and celebration within the Hempfield community, but according to this year’s student Administrator, Malea Nadeo, thoughts soon moved to higher goals. “Last year’s administration team, led by Ella Jones, put so much hard work into that first year. When the event ended, Ella and the team set a new goal for us – $70,000.”

Nadeo, a senior,  and her team were excited for the challenge. “We knew we were taking on a lot, but the team had faith in us, so the other girls and I have worked so hard to reach the goal they set.” 

While the Mini-THON team has kept the tradition of collecting donations (Canning), the Turkey Trot Color Run, and the upcoming volleyball tournament called “Dig for Diamonds”, a new year of fundraising brought new ideas to the table. Two Minute for Miracles will occur at boy’s basketball games on 1/16 and 2/6 where students will run through the stands to collect as much as they can in 60 seconds. Generously, Education Management and Staffing Solutions (ESS) will bring matching spectator donations up to $500. 

Additionally,  the team has incorporated raffle baskets at school sporting events and created a dodgeball tournament with Franklin Regional and Greensburg Salem’s Mini-THON called “Dodge for a Cause”. 

Mrs. Ashley Testa, faculty sponsor, explained that the year long fundraising challenge is largely student run. “This is an excellent opportunity for our student body to work together in service of others, to build a community amongst themselves, and to feel the reward that comes from making a difference.” Testa oversaw the efforts of the 2023 Mini-THON and says that more than the funds raised, “which is incredibly impressive, it is the connections made and the ability to work as a team,” that she sees as the most essential skills learned. 

According to Nadeo, the team hopes to continue to make Mini-THON and the fight against pediatric cancer both a school-wide and community-wide effort, similar to Penn State’s famed THON by seeking out alumni support and collaborating with local districts. “Penn State’s alumni networking is unlike any other, and Hempfield’s Mini-THON team hopes to model them and include the wonderfully generous alumni of Hempfield,” Nadeo says.

Mr. James Steeley, current teacher and a 1988 graduate of Hempfield, sees an overwhelming pride amongst his fellow Spartan graduates. “We have a wonderful alumni base that has always shown a willingness to support the students of Hempfield.” Steeley, who runs alumni tours, and coordinated the 50th Homecoming festivities, also senses an alumni who wants to reconnect with their Alma Mater. “People ask what they can do to help our students reach their goals and support their causes. Their Spartan Pride is very inspiring.” 

Hempfield Area’s most recent Mini-THON event was Dig for Diamonds on January 21st, where teams from Hempfield and Greensburg competed in a volleyball tournament. Testa recalled the excitement and healthy competition between the districts, “The teams had two goals that day: to represent their schools and more, to raise money for a great cause.” Excitement erupted as Greensburg Salem’s teachers won, and as the Hempfield team came in first.” 

While raising the goal to $70,000 may seem daunting, Nadeo believes that “Spartan Nation” is up to the task. “With the team’s hard work and the Hempfield community coming together, our goal can easily be achieved. The possibilities are endless!” 

Testa says she is thankful for community members, businesses, and organizations who continue to sponsor student teams and the event as a whole. “We are thankful for those who give back to support our student endeavors. Every dollar benefits current students and children struggling in their fight against cancer.”

For anyone interested in being a part of this year’s Mini-THON, please consider using the DonorDrive link to aid in the fight against pediatric cancer. 

https://fourdiamonds.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.event&eventID=4171

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About the Contributor
Malea Nadeo, Contributor
Born and raised in Hempfield, Malea Nadeo has been a member of the Spartan community her whole life. She is the Overall Administrator of Hempfield Area Mini-THON, a member of National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, and Project 18, and fills her free time with a plethora of clubs. She loves getting involved around the school and spends most of her time raising money for Mini - THON, volunteering for United Spartans, and taking photos at pep rallies and sports events. Malea is most passionate about Television Writing and Broadcasting, where she is an anchor on Hempfield's news "15601". When she isn't in school, Malea enjoys spending time with her friends and family, creating videos, and listening to her favorite music.  In future years, Malea hopes to go to Penn State University for telecommunications and media industries to go on to work in television and help create movies. Writing for The Royal, taking photos for the yearbook, and anchoring 15601  allows Malea to do what she loves best - connect with her school community.