APRIL, 2019
Left Photo - H.E.R.O. quilt; Top Right Photo- Jesse Peele, Donna Drakes, Garrett Gravesen, Coach Vince Dooley, and Ryan Gembala; Center Photo- Tylah Hankerson; and Bottom Right Photo - Greer Monin and Coach Vince Dooley
On Thursday, March 28th, H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. presented its 16th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraising Dinner. The evening included a VIP reception/cocktail hour where patrons had the opportunity to mingle with the evening's special guest, H.E.R.O. Founding and Honorary Board Member, Coach Vince Dooley. Attendees were also able to place bids on a range of silent auction items - from specialty foods and jewelry to artwork and singular travel experiences.
H.E.R.O. Board Chair and Fundraiser Host, Greer Monin, commenced the dinner with opening remarks and a welcome to attendees. Next, Board Member Stacey Rivers acknowledged and thanked our event sponsors. The program included remarks from Executive Director, Donna Drakes, who discussed H.E.R.O.'s progress and future. Assistant Camp High Five Director (and former camper), Tylah Hankerson, delivered a moving speech regarding the impact of Camp High Five in her life, as well as the lives of  current campers. Next, H.E.R.O. Co-Founders, Ryan Gembala and Garrett Gravesen, offered special "Thank Yous!" to patrons for their years of support, recalling the startup days of the organization on the University of Georgia's campus. Former UGA player, Cory Phillips, recognized Coach Dooley with an H.E.R.O. award for his years of unwavering commitment to the organization and its children. Laughter filled the room as Coach Dooley humorously recalled his initial interactions with Ryan and Garrett, and shared his delight with H.E.R.O.'s accomplishments. Garrett continued the hilarity as he facilitated the evening's live auction. Afterwards, Ryan stepped up to orchestrate our paddle raise, allowing guests to make monetary donations in support of our Super HEROes Mentoring, Camp High Five, Transition to Adulthood, Holiday of HEROs, and/or Bright HEROs programs.
The evening concluded with a surprise presentation to Board Chair Greer Monin, who was awarded the H.E.R.O. Angel Award for her unrelenting dedication and service to the organization and its clientele.
Event Sponsors  
Elite HERO
The Monin Family
Premiere HERO
Dream of HERO
Billy Espy
Travis Hannon
Benefactor HERO
The Gembala Family
Bobbo Jetmundsen
Walgreens Co.
Champion HERO
ADDO Institute
Ausband & Dumont
Donna Drakes
Marie Foster
Gilead Sciences
Kellett Family Partners
Pillar HERO
Accounting Solutions Group
Tom Lyons
Kim Nalley
We would also like to thank the following companies and individuals for their in-kind donations:  
Atlanta History Center
Elizabeth & Patrick Brunderman
Buckhead Life Group
Carey Executive Limousine
Chops Lobster Bar
Das Barbecue
Donna Drakes
Draper James
Erin Gray Designs
Frolic Boutique
H & F Bottle Company
Poppy's Boutique
Kevin Rathbun
Southern Baked Pie Company
Southern Traditions
The Alliance Theatre
The Atlanta Ballet
The High Museum of Art
The North Face
Travis Hannon
Harlin Diamonds
Henri's Bakery & Cafe
Lash Designory
Chris Lenzo
Lucy's Market
The Monin Family
Natural Habitat Adventures
Shannon O'Donnell
Onward Reserve
Amy Patricio
The Westin Buckhead
The Whitley Buckhead
The Varsity
Tito's Handmade Vodka
Vera Bradley
W Atlanta Buckhead Hotel
W New York City Hotel
Woo Atlanta

Finally, H.E.R.O. would like to give a special thanks to Mrs. Greer Monin, Fundraiser Chair, for hosting such a wonderful dinner celebration! We extend our sincerest appreciation to all of the staff and volunteers who made our 16th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraising Dinner such a success.
UGA HEROs' second spring 2019 kid event was  ballin'...literally . Thirty-six (36) H.E.R.O. children had the opportunity to travel to Classic City on UGA's campus for a women's basketball game! The first stop of the afternoon was the Tate Student Center for lunch, sponsored by our friends at Zaxbys. Here the children enjoyed a meal together and hung out with UGA HEROs members before the game began. After lunch, everyone made their way over to the arena. The kids had a blast dancing with Hairy Dog and, of course, screaming "GO DAWGS!" at an all-time high.

During halftime, the children were able to take a peek behind the scenes and tour the locker room. They were blown away by what members of the women's basketball team had at their disposal! After the locker room tour, everyone returned to their seats where they continued to cheer on their favorite team. Although our Lady Dawgs were not victorious, this kid event was a definite win.
On his ride home, one of the kids asked to be dropped off last because he was having so much fun that he did not want to go home. Moments like these warm the hearts of our UGA HEROs, and are why they spend their academic year fundraising for the children we serve. Specials thanks to the UGA Women's Basketball Team for allowing the UGA HEROs team and our H.E.R.O. children to share this awesome day with them. Of course, a huge "Thank you!" goes out to the event drivers and co-pilots. Finally, the UGA HEROs team appreciates everyone who came and hung out!
It's that time again! HERO has opened enrollment for our 2019 Camp High Five Program!

Camp High Five offers children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS a one-week summer camp program during which they participate in a variety of recreational activities and educational workshops. Activities include archery, boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, biking, arts and crafts, music, and much, much more! Camp High Five will be held from Sunday, June 9th through Friday, June 14th, 2019 at Camp Twin Lakes-Will-A-Way site in Winder, Georgia. Counselors must report to the camp site on Saturday, June 8th, 2019. Child and volunteer admission criteria and applications are currently available on our website.


The Super HEROes Mentoring Program  is a community-based, one-on-one mentoring program serving children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The program provides these children with the opportunity to have a positive role model through a mentor and to strengthen their life skills, self-esteem, communication skills, goal-setting and academic performance.

Why HERO children need mentors? 

Approximately 33% of HERO children are HIV positive and the other 67% are affected (i.e. someone who has an infected parent, sibling, residential relative, or has lost a relative to HIV/AIDS-related complications). Twenty-five percent (25%) of HERO children have lost a parent as a result of HIV/AIDS-related complications, and almost 90% of HERO children come from low-income families (household incomes are $15,000/year or less).

Our children struggle with day-to-day challenges including low self-esteem, social difficulties, academic underachievement, self-destructive behavior, etc. You can help change this!

Responsibilities of a Super HERO Mentor:
  • Spend one-on-one quality time with a child at least twice a month, a minimum of two hours each time.
  • Participate with the child in a bi-monthly group activity organized and sponsored by H.E.R.O. for Children.
  • Be a positive role model for the child.
  • Contribute to strengthening the child's self-esteem, social adjustment and life skills.
Eligibility Requirements:
  • Be at least 22 years of age.
  • Be willing and available to comply with H.E.R.O. for Children's policies and procedures.*
  • Have dependable automobile transportation, maintain a valid driver's license, verifiable automobile insurance and abide by Georgia vehicle codes (i.e. seat belts, speed limits, etc.).
  • Must have a suitable home environment.
  • Pass background checks, including motor vehicle record, sex offender registry, national criminal background screening and social security verification, prior to serving.
*  Training and continuing education provided.

Saturday, April 27th, 2019 | 10:00 AM
Warren Boys & Girls Club - Atlanta, GA

Saturday, May 11th, 2019 | 10:00 AM
Warren Boys & Girls Club - Atlanta, GA

Saturday, May 4th, 2019 | 10 AM - 2 PM
Live Forward (Formerly AID Athens)
Saturday, May 18th, 2019 | 10 AM - 2 PM
Live Forward (Formerly AID Athens)

Sunday, June 9th, 2019 - Friday, June 14th, 2019
Camp Twin Lakes - Winder, GA
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