HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — On Friday, Penn State Health announced that Mini-THON events during the 2021-2022 school year raised more than $5.7 million to fight childhood cancer. The money benefits Four Diamonds at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital in Hershey, which helps families with children receiving cancer treatments.

During the last school year, Mini-THON fundraisers and events were held at 208 school districts around Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia, according to a release from Penn State Health. The over $5.7 million dollars raised more than doubled the previous year’s Mini-THON fundraising total.

Mini-THON events, modeled after Penn State’s Dance Marathon (THON), are coordinated by K-12 students at schools in Pennsylvania and nearby states. The multi-hour events bring in hundreds of thousands of students to raise money for Four Diamonds each year. Since the Mini-THON program began in 1993, it has raised more than $58 million, the release notes.

The funds help support Four Diamonds families at the Children’s Hospital as well as research for treatments and cures for childhood cancers.

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“We are so grateful for the remarkable young leaders whose energy, enthusiasm and unwavering dedication to conquering childhood cancer drive the Mini-THON movement,” said Suzanne Graney, executive director of Four Diamonds, in the press release. “Each student leader is inspiring and empowering their student body and their community to join us as our partners in the fight to end childhood cancer for all kids around the world.”