Wilmington’s Salesianum School has started fundraising for SALSTHON 2024, which has a goal of $175,000 to benefit St. Patrick’s Center.
St. Patrick’s provides emergency food, meals, respite for the homeless, clothing, transportation and recreational activities for people in need.
“People are pumped up to raise money, and they’re excited to go,” said Frank Holodick, a senior and student council president at Salesianum.
The announcement of its goal and focus, comes as National Catholic School Week kicks off.
“It really just shows the spirit of the three schools, there’s so much passion for each of our schools by the students here,” Holodick said, “and that’s really reflected by how much they get into that fundraising and different events that lead up to the actual SALSTHON as well as the event itself.”
The student councils from each school help organize SALSTHON, which is an all-night dance party inspired by Penn State University’s THON, to raise funds for local charities.
Many high schools and universities across the country have adopted some version of Penn State’s THON.
One change this year is that the event will take place Saturday, March 16, from 5 p.m. to midnight, rather than going through the early hours of the morning as in previous years.
“It was in the interest of student safety,” said Alison Hildenbrand, a college counselor at Salesianum. “We were concerned about having students up all night and then seeing them drive home. We think this change could bring more energy to the event and hopefully increase student interest and participation, too.”
The center was actually the beneficiary of the event 10 years ago, and several faculty and parents from all three schools have been or are currently involved with Saint Patrick’s, according to Hildenbrand.
“We’re hoping to have 1,400 people come,” Holodick said. “We want to be the first year to max out.”
This is the 12th annual SALSTHON, and at least 1,000 students show up each year to dance the night away.
The fundraising goal is the same as last year’s.
However, the three schools shattered that goal last year and raised $243,791 for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, which helps families whose seriously ill children are getting care at Nemours Children’s Hospital.
Participants are required to raise $250 each, and if they raise $100 more than that, they can bring a guest of their choice.
Since its inception, SALSTHON has raised nearly $2 million for local non-profit organizations, including the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans, Child Inc., B+, SL24: Sean’s House, St. Patrick’s Center, Limen House, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the Summer Collab.
Hildenbrand said SALSTHON is a manifestation of the mission and actions of the three schools.
“There are expectations placed on the students to get back to and value the community around them, the community of students that they go to school with,” she said.
Collectively, she said, these students have pretty significant powers to affect change in a positive way when they collaborate, work hard and put some of the Catholic value into action.”
“SALSTHON also shows, like Sallies really isn’t about the building here and the property we’re on,” Holodick said. “It’s about the work we do in our community and how we live our lives in and outside of the building. It would be ignorant of us to just go to school without supporting the community in the city that’s around us and these local nonprofits.”
More information, including ways to donate or help fundraise, is at SALSTHON.org.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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