Raised at the 2017 Hope Gala For the Kids!

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


Thank you for helping us to raise $188,501.86 For the Kids at the 2017 Hope Gala! 

Meet the 2017 Hope Gala Family: The Johnson Family

We are excited to announce The Johnson Family as the 2017 Hope Gala family speaker. Get a brief glimpse of Emma’s story below and don't miss your chance to hear The Johnson's story live during the 2017 Hope Gala!

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.

2016 Hope Gala Family: The Kemberling's

2016 Hope Gala Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: Ryan McGarry

2016 Hope Gala Family Speaker: The Kemberling Family
Chase was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma on October 29th, 2013, after an ER trip and what his parents thought was appendicitis. After being admitted to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, doctors explained that the type of Lymphoma that Chase had was very aggressive and fast growing. Chase started his first round of chemo on November 2nd, 2013 and by January 2nd, 2014 he was receiving his last bag of chemo. After a PET scan on January 16th, the Kemberling family got the call that Chase was in remission.

The 2016 Leah Still Award for Courage Recipient: Ryan McGarry

Ryan McGarry, a Penn State graduate, is a director, producer and writer of film and television. He is also the Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at The Weill Medical College of Cornell University/New York Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. His first feature film, CODE BLACK, was conceived and directed entirely during his residency at the Los Angeles County Hospital. It inspired the current CBS television drama series of the same name, which he executive produces.

He was selected to receive this honor based on his inspiring story as a stage IV cancer survivor, his pursuit of a medical degree after his diagnosis, his work as an ER doctor, and his explorations of health care humanism in cinema and television.


Hope Gala Mini Events

While the 2018 Hope Gala details have yet to be finalized, we encourage volunteers to visit some of our wonderful Mini Events throughout the year!

Join us at our Inaugural Hope Gala Jets Game on October 1st! Click here for more information.

For more information email: contact@nychopegala.com