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 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 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.
The 2018 Hope Gala - March 10, 2018
We are thrilled to invite you to the 10th Annual Hope Gala on March 10, 2018! To show our appreciation for all the love and support you've provided for for the families over the past 10 years, we are offering early bird ticket pricing for all tickets and tables purchased before January 1st. Join us as we dance the night away for a cure to end childhood cancer.
Meet the 2018 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!
2017 Hope Gala Family: The Johnson's
2017 Hope Gala Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: Dr. Carl June
2017 Hope Gala Family Speaker: The Johnson Family
Emma Lindsay Johnson was born on April 20, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts and loves dancing, soccer, princesses, and fairies. In May 2006, Emma was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and was given a 30% chance of survival. Over the following 15 months, Emma endured chemotherapy, surgeries, a bone marrow transplant, radiation, and immunotherapy. In spite of the immense amount of treatment and difficulty Emma endured over that time, she never let cancer take away who she was. She is Emma the Princess.
Now eight years after her last treatment, Emma is healthy and strong. Her family and friends cherish every day as she lives the life of a normal 12 year old.
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!
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!