The Hope Express


I recently received an email from a dear friend about a new adventure she is embarking on in her life to benefit a cause and organization we both love.

Many of you have heard about or been a part of the Penn State Dance Marathon. For those of you who may not know, it’s a 46-hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon held in February each year at Penn State. It is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. The actual event, Thon as it’s affectionately known, is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraising with the proceeds going to the Four Diamonds Fund. Penn State students have raised more than $89 million since 1977.

What is the Four Diamonds Fund, you ask? The Four Diamonds Fund is at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The fund offsets the cost of treatment that insurance doesn’t cover, and also assists with other expenses a family may face while their child fights the greatest battle of their life. It also supports the medical team caring for the children, funds research and the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Institute. You can find out more about Thon and the Four Diamonds Fund at

My friend, Mary Kate, was actively involved in Thon while a student, and it continues to be a passion in her life. Another passion for her is running, and she’s found a way to combine those two passions into a new, exciting and wonderful adventure.

Mary Kate (second from left) and some of her fellow Thon Dancers in 2009

Mary Kate will be running with The Hope Express as part of a team of 15 individuals who will run from the Hershey Medical Center to Penn State in just 24 hours. That’s 135 miles! She will take turns with her fellow teammates running three-mile legs with the entire team joining together to run the final mile into THON.

Last year The Hope Express raised $76,000 For The Kids to contribute to Penn State’s record-setting $10.6 million total. Mary Kate has made it her goal to raise $1,000 to contribute toward the fight to end pediatric cancer. I thought I’d help spread the word here since a few of you know MK. The easiest way to donate is through her secure personal fundraising page: All the money is For The Kids!

For those of you who may have never heard of Thon, are curious about it or just want to reminisce, here’s a video promoting Thon 2013.

Mary Kate, congratulations on this amazing opportunity. I know you’ll do amazingly well!


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