BY LARRY DEKLINSKi

Several local events are planned this year to benefit Geisinger's ThinkBIG Pediatric Cancer Fund, which helps families battling the disease with unexpected expenses. The events are being organized by Mount Carmel alumnae Cassandra Niglio, Rachel Niglio, Samantha Spieller and Cassie Mace, who last year raised $11,840.78 for the Four Diamonds Fund.

A Spring Fling for Mount Carmel Area students in fourth- through sixth-grades will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Mount Carmel Area Elementary School cafeteria. The dance will be supervised by teachers, administrators and student leaders. There is no signup. Admission is $3. Chad Evans will DJ the event. Snacks and drinks will be available for sale.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, a "Bowl For A Cure" will be held at the Coal Bowl in Coal Township. People of all ages are invited to bowl for a good cause. A $10 admission fee will include bowling shoes.

The second annual Dance Marathon will be held tentatively from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Mount Carmel Junior-Senior High School gym. The event follows last year's very successful inaugural marathon that included guest speakers and luminaria ceremony. The event is in its initial planning stages, Cassandra Niglio said.

"We are going off last year's event, but we are making some changes," Niglio said. "We found out what we could do and what we shouldn't do."

For more information on the events or how to donate, call Niglio at 570-205-8526.