Tyler Bentzel, 18, a senior at Dover Area High School is planning a school-wide mini-THON, a smaller version of Penn States THON, the largest student-run
Tyler Bentzel, 18, a senior at Dover Area High School is planning a school-wide mini-THON, a smaller version of Penn States THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. The event, which is also Bentzels senior project, will benefit the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports families affected by pediatric cancer. The 12-hour event will be held from 7 p.m. April 26 to 7 a.m. April 27 at North Salem Elementary School, 5161 N. Salem Church Road, Dover. (Bil Bowden photo)

Dover Area High School senior Tyler Bentzel can't stand the idea of children getting cancer.

He's also planning to attend Penn State University in the fall.

It seems like a natural fit, then, that for his senior project he is organizing his school's mini-THON, a dance and activity marathon that, through the Four Diamonds Fund, supports families affected by pediatric cancer.

Based at Penn State, which runs a mammoth version each year, THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

"It motivates me to make a difference," Tyler said of pediatric cancer.

Tyler, 18, said he's hoping to raise $40,000 for Dover's event, held 12 hours straight starting at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26.

The all-night marathon has tons of activities planned to keep students excited -- and awake -- such as sports tournaments, capture the flag, and a dunk tank. Students need to get $100 in fundraising to participate.

Tyler said his school has a mini-THON every other year, and this time he thought it'd be a perfect fit. It's his first time organizing the event, although he has previous volunteer experience as an Eagle Scout who rehabilitated some basketball courts at Brookside Park in Dover.

He has sponsors lined up to help defray the costs of holding the event, which he hopes will have several hundred students taking part at North Salem Elementary School.

Online donations and information can be found at fourdiamonds.donordrive.com/event/dahs.

-- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com