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.
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 over $1.1 million 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 Hospital. The 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
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.
2018 Hope Gala Family: The Hess'
2018 Hope Gala Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: The Conner M. Holland Foundation
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 2018 Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: The Conner M. Holland Foundation
On January 6th, 2010, Conner was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 3. Initially, Conner’s treatment went well, putting his cancer into remission for over a year. Fifteen months later, his cancer relapsed and his doctors continued treatment. A chemotherapy drug that was meant to finally cure his cancer instead delivered a devastating brain injury, preventing doctors from pursuing additional curative therapies. Conner passed away on September 4, 2011. He was 5 years old.
Out of this tragedy, the Conner M Holland Foundation was formed to help families in desperate need of financial and emotional support. They aim to relieve families of the financial burdens as they walk the journey of a life threatening illness with their child.
It’s up to you, New York…
How Your Donation Assists Four Diamonds:
Four Diamonds picks up where insurance leaves off, enabling families to solely focus on care for their child. Assistance from Four Diamonds ensures counselors, social workers, music therapists and other specialists are available to provide comprehensive care in a family-focused atmosphere. Thanks to THON, Four Diamonds and the Penn State Hershey Medical Center recruits world-class talent to continue innovative research benefiting children worldwide.
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!