The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

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Mr. Hallahan takes over Mini-THON

Mr.+Hallahan%2C+with+THON+officers+Hannah+Waite+and+GiGii+Juart%2C+makes+plans+for+this+years+event.
Kerry Naylor
Mr. Hallahan, with THON officers Hannah Waite and GiGii Juart, makes plans for this year’s event.

Mini-THON this year will be advised by someone new, Mr. Sean Hallahan. After Mr. Matthew McNaul and Mr. Brandon Stewart both stepped down from their positions as Mini-THON advisors, Mr. Hallahan took the opportunity to take over the leadership role.

Being an advisor is not an easy job. It is known to be time consuming, which is one of the reasons why the previous advisors had to step down. 

It started late last school year when Mr. Hallahan was approached by a group of young students who were very eager to bring back Mini-THON. Without a second thought, he agreed to hop on board.

It is not Mr. Elder’s or Mr. Hallahan’s Bellwood Mini-THON. No, it is the students’. I want their names all over it.

— Mr. Hallahan

“It was just their eagerness and their desire to get Mini-THON back up and running… that’s what brought me on board,” Mr. Hallahan said.

Mr. Hallahan describes how these students got him to advise Mini-THON. Their desire to bring back this amazing event heavily persuaded Mr. Hallahan, and he couldn’t just say no.

Before Mini-THON, Mr. Hallahan has been involved in numerous donations for different kinds of causes. However, this will be his first time being in such a big role. Hopefully his previous experiences can help him with this one. 

For this year’s event, he has three main goals to achieve. His most important goal is to have the best student experience possible. He aspires to make sure that all students will have the best time in this tremendous activity. 

“The biggest goal is the student experience, making sure they have a positive experience out of this, and that they learn from this.”

Mr. Hallahan expresses his serious devotion to the students. He knows that this is all about them, so he puts them as the number one priority.

His second goal is to bring the community together. Because it has been three years since the last Mini-THON, Mr. Hallahan hopes that this year will bring everyone back together. Community support is one of the most essential things for Mini-THON and by bringing everyone together, the support will be extensive.

Mr. Hallahan’s third goal is of course the amount of money raised. He says that having a financial goal at the end really makes students strive for it. He expresses how having this goal will tell students what needs to be done.

Bellwood’s last Mini-THON event was a resounding success. Over $40,000 was raised in 2020, which is the most successful year to date. Mr. Hallahan expresses how duplicating such a major success will prove to be very difficult, especially after those few years off. He wants to set the goal to something that is achievable for this year. As of now, the goal is set to around $5,000.

Mr. Hallahan isn’t the only one spearheading this event. He has help from Mr. Elder, Mr. Barr, and Mrs. Soisson. The teachers will all share responsibilities with each other and they will use teamwork to get the most out of this year. Mr. Hallahan’s job is to mostly oversee the event. He will give out ideas, make sure the students are on task, and also to also let them have the freedom to run it themselves. Mr. Hallahan puts special emphasis on the fact that this is ultimately student-run. 

“It is the Bellwood-Antis High School Mini-THON,” he said. “It is not Mr. Elder’s or Mr. Hallahan’s Bellwood Mini-THON. No, it is the students’. I want their names all over it.”

When asked about the different things that he might do, he says that Mini-THON will still be relatively the same thing, at least for this year. He says that if anything would be different, it would most likely be from the students and what they want. 

Of course, Mr. Hallahan will face many difficult challenges as time goes on. He thinks that one of the biggest roadblocks to overcome is just trying to figure out what works the best. There are many moving pieces to this, and if one part fails, it will be hard to keep moving forward. To help him manage these challenges, Mr. Hallahan has reached out to teachers from other schools to ask them about what type of things worked out for them, what did not, and unique ideas that could work.

Even with hardships to come, Mr. Hallahan remains optimistic. He sees how all these students are driven and motivated to have Mini-THON, so he thinks that this year will be a success. He believes that every time you have great student leadership and great student buy-in, that is what makes things successful. These key ingredients to success are what makes Mr. Hallahan confident.

With Mini-THON looking to get back on track, Mr. Hallahan is excited to see where this goes. He knows how special this event is, and that is why he took this chance to run it in a heartbeat. Mr. Hallahan is putting in all of this time and effort for the kids. He is really hoping to bring success and to eventually get to the numbers BA Mini-THON was putting up during the pre-Covid times.

That will be a challenging task. In 2020, just before schools closed, Mini-THON raised more than $43,000, bringing its three-year total at B-A to more than $80,000.

“The sky’s the limit. I’m really glad that we’re bringing it back,” said Mr. Hallahan. “It gives the student body something to be proud of. It sheds a positive light on the Bellwood-Antis community, and it also sheds light on what the student body at Bellwood-Antis can do.”

The Bellwood-Antis community is hoping that Mr. Hallahan, Mr. Elder, Mr. Barr, and Mrs. Soisson can pick Mini-THON up from the ground. We wish Mr. Hallahan, and all the other helpers, the best of luck in reaching their goals.

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