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HERMANN, MO. (PIX11) — One high school’s graduating class planned a special gift for their classmate.

Zack Ruediger lost his mother two years ago and his father shortly before his graduation.

It’s a tradition at Hermann High School for all graduates to hand some cash to the principal when receiving  their diploma. The money is always donated to charity.

The entire graduating class of 68 students donated, gathering a total of $800.  Zack’s employer chipped in $500.

Ruediger didn’t suspect a thing, and also tried to donate.

His friends then revealed the money was for Zack and the Ruediger family, and the crowd erupted with applause.

Zack plans to use the money to help pay for his father’s funeral. He plans to go to Indianapolis to study diesel mechanics.