PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



The Hope Gala Continues Support for THON Long After Graduation

The support for finding a cure for pediatric cancer never stops for some Penn State students, even after graduation. Perhaps nothing showcases this more than the Hope Gala, an organization that holds an annual event in New York City supporting THON.

The Hope Gala raised $201,17 for Four Diamonds last year. The event certainly draws a crowd, and last year it had a record breaking 475 attendees. Devon Still and Leah Still were in attendance, as well as Ryan McGarry, (executive producer of the CBS series Code Black) and ESPN’s Kim Jones as the MC. It is a great way for Penn Staters to get involved with the cause and meet new Nittany Lions long after graduation.

Founded in 2008 by the New York City Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association with support from the Northern New Jersey Chapter, the Hope Gala has since raised more than $600,000 for THON and its sole beneficiary, Four Diamonds.

Kelly Dormer is the executive director of the Hope Gala for the second year in a row. Her THON involvement began her freshman year at Penn State. She was the THON Chair for Penn State Powerlifting for her entire college career, and she danced for this organization in both 2008 and 2010. She didn’t have a direct connection to a family until her senior year, and being connected with the Conner Holland family fueled her passion for this fight. When she graduated and moved to New York she knew she’d stay involved with THON no matter what. She found The Hope Gala at a viewing party of the THON documentary in New York City in 2011.

She describes it as “very similar to THON, in the sense that we’re raising money with sponsors and various events such as SoulCycle, the Hope Floats cruise, and many other events.” These things are very unique to New York but also unite the community that has a passion for THON and its mission to end childhood cancer. The 200+ volunteers can get as involved as they want. 

The 2017 Hope Gala will take place on March 11, 2017 at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. Anyone can attend and it’s a great event for current Penn State students to go to, too. Four Diamonds families speak every year, and for some, it’s their version of “THON weekend.” You may even get to see Leah Still leading a “We Are” chant!

So graduating seniors, if you have plans to move to New York and have a passion for THON, or always wanted to get involved but couldn’t find the time, check out The Hope Gala. As we say, For The Kids, always (even after we graduate).

If you want to learn more about the Hope Gala, [email protected] is the place to go. You can also follow it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @nychopegala.


About the Author

Emilie Dormer

Emilie is from Upper Moreland, aka "just outside of Philly." She's a senior majoring in Secondary English Education (which just means she wants to be a high school english teacher.) She can be found around campus making fire Spotify playlists, chugging iced coffee, or crying because she's just seen a puppy. She talks entirely too fast for anyone to comprehend, so you can follow her on Twitter @dorm_partyy, and Instagram @emdorm. Questions/comments/whatever can be sent to [email protected]


More by Emilie

Former Penn State Wrestler Passes Away After Battle With Cancer

Former Penn State wrestler James “Jim” Vollrath passed away last night after losing his battle with cancer.

THON Family Carnival Makes Every Mission Possible

Holiday Things To Do In State College


Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Former Penn State women’s gymnastics head coach Jeff Thompson has filed a lawsuit against the university following the termination of his contract in February 2017. Thompson, alongside his wife and associate head coach Rachelle Thompson, was accused by former gymnasts and an assistant coach of creating a hostile team environment. The Thompsons allegedly pressured athletes to compete […]

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Penn State Women’s Soccer Adds Swiss Forward Kim Dubs

Student Life

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

The lab uses a combination of human genomics, computational biology, and functional studies, using Drosophila and human cell lines, to understand the risks caused by genetic mutations and to grasp how gene disruption leads to altered neurodevelopment.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Pennharmonics To Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love you to join us.

Mayor Don Hahn Asks Borough Council To Consider Changes To Proposed Overnight Parking Restrictions

State College Mayor Don Hahn posted on his blog Sunday republishing a letter he sent to Borough Council on August 1 outlining three revisions he’d like them to consider for the proposed overnight parking restrictions.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend