$357,302.82 FTK!

Over $1,000,000.00 in 10 Years

Our Mission:

The Hope Gala is committed to conquering childhood cancer by raising awareness, providing financial assistance, and supporting the fundraising efforts of Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), which benefits Four Diamonds, through our annual gala and year-round fundraising.

About Us:

The Hope Gala is an annual gala and year-round fundraising organization established to support the fundraising efforts of Penn State Dance Marathon (THON). Since 2008, The Hope Gala has raised nearly $800,000 towards the mission of conquering childhood cancer. Four Diamonds is the sole beneficiary of THON's fundraising activities and THON is the largest contributor to Four Diamonds. All proceeds benefit childhood cancer patients and their families in need of financial aid, medical assistance, and emotional support at the Penn State Hershey Children’s HospitalThe Hope Gala was founded by the New York City Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association with support from the Northern New Jersey Chapter.

Hope Gala Executive Committee

Kelly Dormer

Executive Director

JoAnn Esposito

Auction Director

Katie Lanktree

Events Director

Jon Florio

Communications Director

Sara Leary

Communications Director

Ema Gaubaite

Sponsorship Director

Mannat Parmar

Volunteer Director

Sarah Maiden

Art Director

Greg Ryan

Production Director

Emily Andrews-Rice

Development Director

Karisa Maxwell

Social Media Director

Ally Zimmerman

Mini-Events Director

Katrina Perez

Mini - Events Director

Jenna Wilson

Family Relations Director

Kaitlin Pierce

Gala Volunteer Coordinator

Samantha Shoffner

Gala Volunteer Coordinator


Al Smith

Community Outreach Coordinator


Carly Chroman 

Community Outreach Coordinator

Meet our Advisory Board

The Hope Gala would not be where it is today without the guidance, expertise and support of our talented Advisory Board.

The 2018 Hope Gala - March 10, 2018


We had an unforgettable evening at the 10th Annual Hope Gala on March 10, 2018! Thank you from the bottom of our heats for helping us reach our goal of over $1,000,000.00 in 10 Years in the fight against childhood cancer! Photos and video clips from the night will be available in the next few weeks on our social channels and website!

2018 Hope Gala Family: The Hess'

2017 Hope Gala Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: Dr. Carl June

2018 Hope Gala Family Speaker: The Hess Family

Lydia Hess, who was born in July 2011, lives near Hershey, PA with her parents, Brandon and Julie, and brothers, Owen (8) and Silas (1.5). In 2014, when she was just two and a half, Lydia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Throughout that year, Lydia was admitted overnight 10 times for almost 100 days, including one two-month stay. During these visits, she endured chemo, anesthesia for spinal taps, a dozen blood transfusions and other procedures. Nevertheless, Lydia is a fighter and completed treatment after 2.5 years in September 2016.

Today, Lydia still goes to a clinic monthly to check her blood counts, but is doing great! She is a happy and healthy first-grader surrounded by a loving family. Lydia loves to get dressed up like a princess and can't wait to do so for the 2018 Hope Gala!

The 2017 Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: Dr. Carl June

Dr. Carl June of University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center was the second recipient of the Leah Still Award for Courage.

Dr. June is well-known for his work as a cancer immunotherapy pioneer, and he is part of the group of CRISPR investigators who recently made TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year Short List for leading the way in immunotherapy research. He is also known in the Penn State community as the doctor whose research helped treat Emily Whitehead!




Hope Gala Mini Events

If you can't join us for the big event in March, we encourage volunteers and supporters to visit some of our wonderful Mini Events throughout the year!

For more information email: contact@nychopegala.com