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#Hickory Strong

The PHN Charitable Foundation’s annual run not only raises funds that increase access to care, it also brings a grieving community together.  A local car accident that claimed the lives of two Hickory High School students and left two others in critical condition, impacted the community of Mercer County on many levels. Various community members banded together to find ways to memorialize the victims of this tragedy. Danielle Nelson, one of the victims in the accident, was a prominent Cross Country runner for Hickory High School, which prompted the suggestion to run in her memory.  A fellow community member and Hickory High School’s Cross Country Coach reached out to Cheryl Goldstone, Director of Programs at the PHN Charitable Foundation. Ms. Goldstone offered to waive the fees of those students who wished to run in memory of the victims at their annual Shamrock N’ Run event. From there it took off! Close to 20 students participated in the race, including parents and coaches.  One community member commented, “It was hard to put into words what we were feeling the day of the race. There was a lot of black and red amongst the green attire…It was heartwarming to see a community rally around those suffering.”

The PHN Charitable Foundation also made monetary donations to both the victim’s families and those students still recovering from the accident.

Cheryl Goldstone stated, “When facing a tragedy such as this, what matters most is community and our community always shows up!”

To learn more on the PHN Charitable Foundation and the programs they offer, please visit their website at