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Milton Hershey School Honors Parents/Sponsors with a Community Event and Awards Ceremony

Over the weekend, the Milton Hershey School community, including students, staff, parents/sponsors, alumni, and Hershey community partners, came together for a special event during Spring Family Weekend. On Saturday, May 13, MHS held a Spartan Family Fun Run/Walk, benefitting the Family Gratitude Foundation in Honor of Gertrude Gurt and honoring Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14.

Following the race, participants enjoyed a community lunch and a ceremony for the 2023 Parent/Sponsor of the Year Award. Each year, four outstanding MHS parents and sponsors are honored with this award to recognize their exceptional commitment and dedication to their children, grandchildren, and to MHS.

This Foundation was formed more than five years ago by a group of MHS staff members who wanted to volunteer their time to carry on the legacy of Gertrude Gurt, mother of MHS President Pete Gurt ’85.

MHS President Pete Gurt '85 speaks at the 2023 Parent/Sponsor of the Year Awards Ceremony.

“The Family Gratitude Foundation in Honor of Gertrude Gurt created this award to recognize parents and sponsors for their strength and resiliency in the face of adversity,” said President Gurt. “Much like many of you, my mother showed a great love and dedication to MHS. Her selflessness to send me and my three brothers to MHS gave us every opportunity to succeed.”

This year’s honorees were Janet Steele, Rebecca King, Casey “Oche” Bridgeford, and Abayomi and Oluwatoyin Ademuwagun.

About the Honorees:

Janet Steele is a wonderful parent/sponsor, who regularly supports her grandson, Jaxson, by attending events to learn and grow. Janet has a growth-mindset and confidently asks questions to our staff experts who are presenting their work. She connects with other parents/sponsors and shares helpful experiences with them. Janet is extremely humble, has a beautiful sense of humor, and is a positive influence for all who are in her presence. Janet and her husband, Glenn, are model parents/sponsors who exhibit kindness and a caring attitude.

Milton Hershey School recognizes Janet Steele as a 2023 Parent/Sponsor of the Year Honoree.

Rebecca King is an engaged parent/sponsor of Kaylee, Emily, and Madilynn. Rebecca stays in touch with her children and their progress at MHS. Her children appreciate Rebecca’s participation on campus during family weekends and beyond. She is responsive with staff, timely, and supportive of her children and their journey at the school. She embodies the MHS Sacred Values and helps her children to succeed and supports them in their passions and activities.

Milton Hershey School recognizes Rebecca King as a 2023 Parent/Sponsor of the Year Honoree.

Casey “Oche” Bridgeford is the caring parent/sponsor of Mark, McKenzie, and Daniel. All three students continue to achieve in the classroom, in the student home, and on the performance fields and stages—thanks inpart to Oche’s support. He sets his standards high for his children and expects them to adhere to all of the expectations of MHS. He has taken advantage of having his children at MHS by pursuing further education. He partners with the school to provide great opportunity for not only his children but all who attend MHS.

Milton Hershey School recognizes Casey "Oche" Bridgeford as a 2023 Parent/Sponsor of the Year Honoree.

Abayomi and Oluwatoyin Ademuwagun are supportive parents/sponsors of Tijusuni, John, and Samuel. They are steady and supportive parents/sponsors of the school. The Ademuwaguns are actively involved in their children’s lives at MHS and are excited to help their children launch from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Their children communicate with their parents daily and describe them as their calendar or alarm clock—looking further ahead for the best possible opportunities for them.

Milton Hershey School recognizes Abayomi and Oluwatoyin Ademugagun as 2023 Parents/Sponsors of the Year Honorees.

Learn More about the Family Gratitude Foundation


Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.