Gahanna Lincoln High School teachers, staff and students will fight cancer on the court this weekend.

The annual GahannaThon, a former dance marathon turned basketball game, will tip off at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the high school, 140 S. Hamilton Road.

Sreekar Miriyala, student council president, said GahannaThon organizers received outstanding support from students wanting to play.

"First, we will have a student vs. student game, then students vs. teachers," he said. "That way, we can get more engagement from the student body."

The winning team of students will take on high school teachers and staff, including Bernardo Amerson, Elizabeth Baker, Jonathan Boron, Sean Branick, Ryan Callihan, Dustin Cullen, Bryce Culver, Kathryn Harris, Justin Hammond, Andrew Hoying, Jordan Kessler, Matthew McGregor, Jessica Slocum, Tony Staib, Christopher Stiel, Bobby Swartzentruber and Ernest Ziegler.

GahannaThon is expected to last until 5 p.m., with the student vs. teacher/staff game beginning at 3 p.m.

"The excitement with the staff is definitely increasing as the date approaches," said Jennifer Hawkins-Newman, student council adviser. "We have roughly 15 staff members playing in the game and even more creating a special cheering section for the staff."

In the last six years, the school has raised more $100,000 for pediatric cancer patients in the hematology and oncology unit at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Hawkins-Newman said.

This year's goal is to raise $25,000.

"I believe we are a little less than half way there," Hawkins-Newman said. "The event is starting to really come together nicely."

Judson Laipply, known from the YouTube video "Evolution of Dance," will be the master of ceremonies and will perform.

The event will include activities for all school-age students.

Smoothie King and Donato's will be on site selling food.

"It should be a great afternoon to get out of the house and support a worthy cause," Hawkins-Newman said.

Miriyala said a couple of raffles will be held, with one of the prizes being a pair of Kanye West Yeezy Shoes.

"All the money we raise will go to help pediatric patients," he said. "In general, the theme is 'Beat Cancer.' That's what the event is about."

Money raised at GahannaThon will be presented to BuckeyeThon, Ohio State University's largest student-run philanthropy. The group raises money for the hematology, oncology and bone-marrow transplant floors of Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Last year, Gahanna Lincoln students presented a check for $32,130 at BuckeyeThon.

Efforts have raised $6.5 million to date. The main focus is funding breakthrough cancer research and psychosocial services at the hospital.

The 2018 BuckeyeThon is scheduled Feb. 9 at the Ohio Union.

Advance sale GahannaThon tickets cost $5 at the high school.

All tickets cost $7 at the door.

The community is invited, Miriyala said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla