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Penn State Legend Todd Blackledge To Emcee THON NYC Hope Gala

Former Penn State quarterback and now-ESPN broadcaster Todd Blackledge will emcee the 12th-annual NYC Hope Gala, which benefits THON, on March 21, the event announced Thursday.

The Hope Gala is an annual black-tie-optional dinner founded by the New York City Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association and supported by its Northern New Jersey Chapter. This year’s event will be held in Gotham Hall.

The Hope Gala has raised more than $1 million since it was first held in 2008. In addition to the event held each spring, the Hope Gala fundraises year-round for Four Diamonds with things like trivia nights, SoulCycle classes, and sports games.

Blackledge is best-known among Penn State fans for leading the Nittany Lions to a national championship in 1982 and compiling a 31-5 record as a starter over three seasons. After getting drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, Blackledge went on to play professionally as a backup quarterback mainly for a few seasons before retiring and transitioning to broadcasting. He’s filled a variety of gigs with CBS, ABC, and ESPN during the last 25 years.

Blackledge is the latest Penn State football alumnus and former NFL player to be a special guest at the Hope Gala, following in the footsteps of Garry Gilliam and Devon Still. The Leah Still Award for Courage is given each year at the event honor of Still’s daughter who’s beaten cancer.

Tickets for the event start at $295 and can be purchased here.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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