Pickerington's two high schools will come together this weekend and ask the community to do the same as students and staff seek to fight children's cancer through dancing and games.
For the second consecutive year, Pickerington High School Central and Pickerington High School North are partnering to raise money for the Nationwide Children's Hospital Oncology Unit through the "Rave to Save."
The high school portion of the program will take place at PHS North from 7 to 11 p.m. this Saturday, March 15, and will feature an evening of music and dancing, as well as other entertaining activities, including inflatable obstacle courses, caricature drawings, a photo booth, pickup basketball games and more.
Those who aren't Central or North students can get in on the festivities, as well, during a "Family Preview" to be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
A minimum donation of $5 is requested for entry to the Family Preview. High school students can pay $10 for tickets in advance, or $15 at the door.
Proceeds will go to benefit the Nationwide Children's Hospital Oncology Unit, which conducts child cancer research and provides services to children suffering from various forms of the disease.
"We are trying to get all of the Pickerington schools involved, and all of the community," said Sarah Whitcraft, a Rave to Save organizer. Whitcraft also teaches sign language at North and serves as an adviser to the school's Student Council and Club Hope.
"It seems like a lot of times the events we have are North vs. Central, but I love it when everyone's coming together.
"It's so neat to see us as one Pickerington."
Drawing from the success and popularity of similar dance-themed fundraisers like the Ohio State University's "Buckeyethon," Central and North's inaugural Rave to Save raised $10,300.
This year, students from Pickerington Local School District elementary, middle schools and junior highs already have raised about $2,500 to support Rave to Save through myriad small fundraisers each school building has held throughout the year.
Those efforts, coupled with the culminating event Saturday give organizers hope they not only can double last year's tally, but also top the approximately $21,000 Gahanna high school students raised during a similar event last month.
"Of course we want to beat them," Whitcraft said.
In addition to dancing and games, there will be raffle prizes. Among them will be a picture donated by former Ohio State football standout and current NFL linebacker A.J. Hawk.
Taking a cue from Hawk and his wife Laura's, Hawk's Locks For Kids, there also will be opportunities for attendees with 12 or more inches of hair to have it cut and donated to children battling cancer.
"Some of the PTOs also have generously donated snacks for the evening," Whitcraft said.
North is at 7800 Refugee Road. Admission for the Rave to Save Family Preview can be paid at the door.