TigerThon on pace for the big event in May

The annual spring dance is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraisers in support of the fight against pediatric cancer.


photo by Jess Daninhirsch

The TigerThon shirts serve as attendees’ tickets into the event.

Quinn Volpe, Co-Editor-in-Chief

TigerThon, a longstanding organization at North Allegheny that benefits children with pediatric cancer, is working toward a successful rest of the school year. Originally inspired by Penn State’s dance marathon, Thon, TigerThon’s highlight of the year has always been their own dance marathon. 

This year, senior Hannah Shin, one of three TigerThon captains, is inviting all community members to the dance that welcomes and caters to all ages.

“Our big event of the year–the annual dance marathon–is set for Saturday, May 7, and we are super excited for all that we have in store for it. We have poured loads of thought, care, and energy into designing this momentous night,” Shin said. “From a mission moment that prompts us to reflect upon the spirit of why we do what we do to celebrating our host child Joey to dancing, eating good food, taking photos, and engaging in a series of small games on the side, among many other activities, there will be a plethora of opportunities for participants to cherish.”

Co-captain Kara Mihm emphasized how the dance will cater to the needs of young children in attendance. 

“There will be face paint, cornhole, a tutu-making station, jewelry making, and a photo booth. The Tiger mascot will probably be there, too,” Mihm said. 

Though the dance marathon is the main event of the year, Mihm is proud to note that the group has already hosted a number of exciting events. 

“We are deeply grateful that all of our initiatives so far, like our car wash, white-out T-Shirt fundraiser, basketball game, Powder Puff game, Zroni pepperoni rolls fundraiser, ice skate night, and holiday caroling, have been well-received and welcomed by our NA community,” she said.

Shin echoed these sentiments.

“This TigerThon year has been quite a wild ride, in a good way, and we simply cannot wait to carry this momentum onward with more projects and efforts to come,” she said.

Among the most successful of these have been the student games.

With the full in-person format of this school year, we were able to hold many events exactly the way we wanted to.

— Hannah Shin, TigerThon Co-Captain

“Our team is ecstatic to say that both games were quite successful and, as new events, created strong roots for many years to come. These two games raised over $4,000 and $2,500, respectively, and altogether engaged over 500 students throughout our NASH community,” Shin said. “What excites us most about these two games is that they can be remembered as the start of traditions.”

Additionally, the team is working on a variety of events for the remainder of the school year.

“Ideas that we are currently exploring and working on planning for the remainder of the year include an Easter egg hunt, middle school visits for furthering district engagement, and fundraisers through local businesses, such as Chipotle, Sheetz, Panda Express, and Loafers,” Shin said. “Our Donor Drive and business sponsorships searches are also going strong as we aim to solicit donations in a more streamlined fashion as well. As always, we will continue to share more information about our upcoming events once our plans become finalized.”

Like practically all other NA organizations, TigerThon has had to adapt to the circumstances brought forth by COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has pushed us to restructure and reshape what TigerThon can, and should, look like. With every initiative we direct, we continue to take into careful consideration the most up-to-date regulations tied to COVID-19 and often find ourselves introducing or ideating new fundraisers to make up for projects that are no longer feasible amidst COVID-19,” Shin said. “With the full in-person format of this school year, though, we were able to hold many events exactly the way we wanted to, with the two aforementioned games being prime examples.”

TigerThon Co-Captain Abbey Hahn encourages community members who are able to support the organization through a monetary donation, ranging from individual and family donations to sponsorships from local businesses.

‘TigerThon is fortunate to have a high rate of student engagement but absolutely needs the help of the community to make our event a success. This help comes primarily by way of monetary donations,” Hahn said. “We are seeking partnerships with local businesses and community members to donate on behalf of our sponsor child, Joey, a silly and outgoing little boy fighting pediatric cancer. A donation of any amount is so appreciated.”

Most importantly, Shin, Mihm, Hahn, and the rest of the team wish to express their gratitude to everyone who has been involved in their organization. 

“We hope that every single person–including students, staff members, administrators, family members, community members, or anyone else–who has contributed to Tiger Thon in some capacity recognizes just how much we appreciate them,” Shin said. “The money raised through TigerThon directly impacts pediatric cancer patients and families of hospitalized children through the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Pennies from Heaven, and we thank everyone for the tangible, permanent impact that they have helped create.”

Click here to donate and learn more.