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Graduates show stunning generosity to classmate who lost both parents

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As they received their diplomas, every single graduate at one Missouri high school committed an unforgettable act of kindness to help a classmate.

They gave to help their friend.

Zack Ruediger, a student at Hermann High School in Gasconade County, Missouri, had already lost his mother in 2012. His dad passed away just a few days before Zack’s May 2014 graduation according to our sister station KTVI.

The tradition at Hermann High is for graduates to hand money to the principal as they graduate. The money is then donated to charity.

This year, though, the graduates wanted the money to go to Zack and his family. As each of the 68 students was handed their diploma, they handed money to their principal. The students gave more than $800.

They kept the secret so well, Zack also emptied his pockets when he got his diploma.

“That’s just like Zack,” one of his classmates said. “He’s really sweet and nice.”

His classmates cheered when Zack later realized the money was for him. His employer added $500 to the fund.

“When the time comes, they just step up each and every time,” said Deputy Superintendent Gary Leimkuehler. “It’s just heartwarming.”

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