#DanceYourHeartOut with Kristina Lachaga to Benefit @FourDiamonds! #MiniTHON

Community Invited to "Dance Your Heart Out" for Pediatric Cancer!

E.R. Martin School Students and Lancaster Community will Dance to the Beat of their Hearts in support of Four Diamonds,

Dance Marathon featuring rising pop sensation Kristina Lachaga, "The Girl With The Big Pink Heart," to be held April 8th

LANCASTER, PA - On Friday, April 8th, the community is invited to 'Dance Your Heart Out' with rising pop sensation Kristina Lachaga, "The Girl With The Big Pink Heart" in support of E.R. Martin School's Mini-THON in Lancaster, PA, whose goal is to raise $8,000.00 for Four Diamonds. This family-fun, community-based dance marathon to support children diagnosed with cancer will take place at E.R. Martin School, 2000 Wabank Road, Lancaster, PA from 2pm-8pm. The event is open to the public and there is a suggested donation of $5 at the door.

Lachaga, who writes her own songs and music, is thrilled to share her 'big pink heart' with her fans at the Mini-THON and is reaching out to invite the area dance schools to show the community their dance moves and support for pediatric cancer at the event. Throughout the fundraiser, "The Girl With The Big Pink Heart," will be performing some of her original songs, including "No Doubt" and "Won't Wait Forever," which are now available on iTunes. In addition, Lachaga will perform her soon-to-be-released single "R.S.V.P.," which was inspired by Simon and Schuster/Aladdin MIX's tween book series You're Invited. The book is co-authored by Jen Malone and Gail Nall.

The Four Diamonds mission is to conquer children's cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research. Four Diamonds Mini-THONs are fun-filled events that inspire teamwork, leadership, and creativity among students while empowering young people through philanthropy and service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer. MiniTHONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), and have been making a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families for more than 20 years. Mini-THONs are bringing hope to families and creating a legacy of service within their community and during the 2014-2015 school year, over 188 elementary, middle and high schools raised over $4.3 million for Four Diamonds.

Having a Mini-THON at E.R. Martin was the dream of Savannah Keenen, a current 6th grade student at the school and cancer survivor of Hepatoblastoma (a rare form of liver cancer). Keenen, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 5 while in kindergarten, benefitted from the Four Diamonds Fund and received excellent treatment at Hershey. Now in remission, she wished to give back and pay it forward to the people that helped her in her fight.

An annual Penn State THON attendee, Keenen was inspired to do a few special events at her school to raise money to take back to THON each year. Eventually after sharing her story at neighboring school districts who do dance marathons to raise money for Four Diamonds, Keenen wondered why her school couldn't do the same. Keenen brought the idea to E.R. Martin principal, Dr. Andrews and the school held its first Mini-THON in the spring of 2015 where the students' raised a total of $6500 for Four Diamonds (far surpassing their original $2500 goal).

For the 2016 Mini-THON, Keenen invited Lachaga to be the event's musical entertainment after meeting her in 2015 at Girls' Life Magazine's Rock Your Life event, a teen leadership summit held in Baltimore, MD. In addition, the school started an official Mini-THON Club after school consisting of over 30 students to help plan and prepare for their 2nd MiniTHON.

In addition to live performances by Kristina Lachaga, the dance marathon will feature a live DJ, dancing, raffle and door prizes, food, photobooth, activities for kids and teens, and more. Attendees are invited to stop by the card making table to make cards for children currently staying at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. Four Diamonds merchandise items will also be available for sale.

Lachaga wishes to empower these students to become strong leaders and get involved in their community. She hopes that she can lead by example and inspire them to volunteer as they continue through E.R. Martin, into high school, and beyond, "The Mini-THON is all about bringing the community together and showing kids and teens that they can make a difference in their communities. I can't wait to perform at the Mini-THON and congratulate the students on all their amazing, hard work!"

"The Girl With The Big Pink Heart" has remained actively engaged in spreading positive messages and inspiring her fans (she calls them #Heartbreakers) all over the country. Lachaga visited E.R. Martin School in January as part of their Mini-THON kickoff event and presented a 45-minute assembly to the Pre-K through 8th grade students. Lachaga inspired students with her "Sticks and Stones" Anti-Bullying message and #FollowYourHeartsDream message, continuing the platform she started back in 2013-2014 on a 17-week nationwide concert tour. To date she has spread her anti-bullying message at over 150 elementary, middle, and high schools, and venues across the country.

2015 was a banner year for Lachaga, performing at Girls' Life Magazine & iHeartRadio's Z104.3's One Direction Concert Pre-Party in Baltimore, MD; the New York State Fair; Albany Back To School Expo with Disney Stars Calum Worthy ("Dez" from Austin & Ally) and Peyton Meyer ("Lucas" from Girl Meets World); and opening for Heffron Drive featuring Kendall Schmidt of Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush at the State Fair Meadowlands. Off the stage, Lachaga shares her time with many charity initiatives, working with Ronald McDonald House Charities, United Way, and the TODAY Show Toy Drive donating "The Girl With The Big Pink Heart" Holiday Gift Packs to pre-teen and teen girls across the country.

If you love to dance, you're invited to "Dance Your Heart Out" and support Four Diamonds' mission to conquer childhood cancer!

If you cannot attend, you can make a donation to E.R. Martin's fundraising efforts online through the Four Diamonds DonorDrive: http://fourdiamonds.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1352

Find out more about Kristina Lachaga, "The Girl With The Big Pink Heart," at http://www.kristinalachaga.com and on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook @KristinaLachaga.

Find out more about Four Diamonds at http://www.fourdiamonds.org and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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