*julia 201

January Heroes Art Session

Welcome to 2023! We got the new year rolling with a wonderful Heroes Art Session. There was a lot of energy in the studio (fueled by dozens of Sugar Shack donuts). We had photographers (Kristin Seward & Patience Salgado), videographers (Greg Wright), artists (Monica, Kyle, Frankie, Sarah, Dale, Nancy, Kathleen, Oxana), volunteers (Becca, Anna, Hanan, Sophie), and, most importantly CHILDHOOD CANCER HERO FAMILIES!

Over the next four months, artist mentors and childhood cancer heroes will work side-by-side. They will create amazing pieces of art for you! [The art created at the Heroes Art Session is put up for auction at our signature event, The Heroes Art Ball. https://one.bidpal.net/heroesartball23/welcome The 12th Annual Heroes Art Ball is Friday, May 5, 2023 at the elegant John Marshall Ballrooms.

You are getting a sneak peek at the unique collaborations created by our childhood cancer heroes. Wait until you see the finished art at the Heroes Art Ball in May.

Our Heroes Art Sessions provide a supportive environment in which childhood cancer heroes and their siblings can make art and build community with other hero families. At the sessions, you feel a collective sense of healing by creating and being together. We are grateful to Visual Arts Center for giving us the space for an open studio. And to our donors who allow the Heroes Art Sessions to happen at no cost to our families.

Childhood Cancer Heroes: Kennedy, Valentin, Charlotte, TayNeise, Sydney, Ava, Micah, Julia, Sadie, Kylie, and their siblings

Hero Artist Leaders & Volunteers: Monica, Kyle, Frankie, Sarah, Dale, Nancy, Kathleen, Oxana, Becca, Anna, Hanan, Sophie, Greg

A baby sits in front of a holiday display

Hero Families Spend Time With Santa!

Santa Hits The Spot

Santa’s got a brand new bag – at a new home called The Santa Spot. Our childhood cancer heroes (who are currently in active treatment) were treated to a wonderful Holiday Open House with Santa himself at The Santa Spot. Families decorated cookies, made ornaments, wrote letters to Santa and hung out with other childhood cancer families.

Holiday Hero Fund Makes The Holidays Magical For Childhood Cancer Heroes

Over the holidays, parents and caregivers are juggling the emotional stress of their child’s diagnosis with the financial stress of giving their family the holiday they deserve after a difficult year. Thankfully, our community of heroes made the holidays magical for childhood hero families.

The 2022 Holiday Hero Fund provided each family in active treatment a $250 VISA gift card, tickets to Lewis Ginter GardenFest of Lights, and personalized presents to those who attended our Open House.

Thank You To Our Holiday Heroes

We need to give a big thank you to a few folks who truly made magic happen this holiday season. Cathy Heizer and her family, Marla and Jack Fergerson, The Strum Group, MassMutual, The Richmond Christmas Mother and Jodie Strum.

Cathy hosted a golf tournament (in her late husband’s memory) benefitting the Holiday Hero Fund. Marla and Jack strongly believe in Connor’s Heroes vision that no family should face their child’s cancer alone. Five years ago, the Fergersons started the Holiday Hero Fund and Holiday Open House. It has been a family holiday tradition ever since. MassMutual’s team gave generously to support the Holiday Hero Fund in addition to a grant from The Richmond Christmas Mother. Jamie Strum purchased gifts for each hero and their sibling. Jodie Strum hosted us at the Santa Spot and took care of every little detail.

Three adults are standing next to Santa
Jack, Marla, and Cathy (Connor's Heroes Board of Directors)

Santa Spot is a new holiday experience in Richmond. A family books a private session with Santa that includes a digital portrait and kid activities. Learn more at: https://thesantaspot.com/

If you loved these photos, there are a lot more. View our Flicker account to see more great photos of the Holiday Open House.

Holiday Magic Happened Thanks To:

1607 Capital Partners • Accent Professional Recruiting LLCMs • Susan Andrews • Ms. Beth Bartone • Mr. Michael Beyers • Mr. Neil Biller • Mr. and Mrs. Tom Bishop • Mr. and Mrs. Tim Bishop • Mr. Adam Blackwell • Mr. Frank Bolton, III, D.D.S. • Dr. Trish Bonwell • Mr. and Mrs. Don Bray • Ms. Rachel Brown • Mr. and Mrs. Britt Calloway • Mr. and Mrs. Parry Carter • Mr. and Mrs. Trip Chalkley • Ms. Sandra Chatham • Mr. and Mrs. Donald Coleman • Commercial Plastering and Drywall, Inc. • Mr. and Mrs. Cayce Craddock • Mr. and Mrs. David Craymer • Mr. Davis Durrett • Ms. Laura Earley • Mrs. Susan Ekholm • F. Richard Wilton Contractor • Mr. and Mrs. Jack Fergerson • Mr. Dustin Ferrara • Mr. Jake Fieseler • Ms. Trish Gibbs • Mr. Bradley Gramm • Ms. Andrea Harris • Mr. Keith Harvey • Ms. Janice Heizer • Ms. Cathy Heizer • Mr. James Heizer Jr. • Mr. Michael Wayne Heizer, Jr. • Help Charities Inc. • Mr. Larry Hickman • Mr. Neal Hollins • Hudson Group Realty, Inc • Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Kalkowsky • Mr. Tim Kelley • Mrs. Linda Loverro • Mr. Ross Luck • Mr. Ryan Martin • Mr. and Mrs. Matt Mason • Ms. Molly Meem • Ms. Sandra Mihaloff • Mr. and Mrs. Dwayne Murphey • Ms. Patricia Murray • Mr. and Mrs. Mike Nicholas • Old Dominion Drywall, Inc. • Ms. Elizabeth Pate • Patrick Buick GMC • Dr. and Mrs. Randall Peyton • Mr. Chad Porter • Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Printz • Mr. and Mrs. John Pritchard • Ms. Sandra Provost • Mr. and Mrs. Chris Rizzo • Mr. Robert Rymiszewski • Mrs. Amy Seward • Mr. and Mrs. Tim Shelton • Mr. and Mrs. Peter Shinnamon • Ms. Shari Skipper • Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Smith • Mr. Andy Snead • Ms. Jodi Strine • Susan Mclauchlan Jewelers • Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tolley • Mr. and Mrs. William Van Zandt • Mr. Tom Vlahakis • Ms. Gail Warren Weymouth • Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Waters • Mr. Doug Wilberger • Mr. Todd Zyglocke

13 people standing together wearing hard hats and safety vest

Strategic Planning 2022

❝Seeing the new Wonder Tower, I envisioned how Connor’s Heroes can elevate and support the childhood cancer community in the new space. As a parent of a childhood cancer hero, I was amazed at how much VCU/CHoR has evolved over the last 10 years when my daughter was in treatment. Strategic planning helped me recognize what are our superpowers as an organization. Which, ultimately is, the personal touch and focus on supporting childhood cancer families during an unimaginable time.❞ — Tammy Griffin, Chair, Connor’s Heroes Board

3 people doing a selfie of each other on a construction site
Board Members (left to right): Tammy Griffin, Carrie Geldreich, and Karrie Southall

Connor’s Heroes Board of Directors and staff spent a weekend diving into a Strategic Plan to get us through the next three years. With the Wonder Tower opening Spring 2023 and families receiving the largest amount of financial support (on average $2,500 a year), Connor’s Heroes is facing an exciting future. We’ve built a reputation among local childhood cancer families as THE nonprofit who knows that the best way to help a family is to get to know a family.

Facilitating the process was Anne Chamberlain. Anne is a local consultant who specializes in group facilitation and leadership development. We know her as simply as “Becca’s mom.” Anne’s experience as a “cancer mom” and friend of Connor’s Heroes enriched the strategic planning experience. Also thank you to our friends at Phlow and CHoR for hosting our crew.

23 people standing together in a conference room
Connor's Heroes Board of Directors & Staff

On Saturday, the Board had an exclusive hard-hat tour of the Wonder Tower. A few board members had seen the space in its early stages (when offices were mapped out with cardboard boxes). When they walked in, they immediately said “Wow!” They walked through the five Rooms Filled with Hope. These five rooms are designed for the care and comfort of childhood cancer heroes on the expanded hematology and oncology floor. Each room is designed around the personalized support Connor’s Heroes is known for. The Connor’s Heroes rooms will be much-needed spaces for our staff, volunteers, healthcare teams, researchers, and hero families.

Board members left the two-day session feeling uplifted, inspired, and focused on Connor’s Heroes mission. It’s three words… Hope… Guidance… Support.

Five people standing together in front of a banner saying Opie Open

Today's Helping Hero: Heizer Family

Today’s Helping Hero is actually a Helping Family! The Heizer family (Cathy & her children Paul, Brett and Meredith) raised over $18,000 for the Holiday Heroes Fund by hosting a golf tournament, The Opie Open. The Opie Open was held in memory of Cathy’s husband Paul “Opie.” Opie passed away after battling pancreatic cancer last year. Opie devoted his life to supporting child-focused nonprofits such as Connor’s Heroes. Opie wanted to make sure children with cancer received love, strength, and support — especially over the holidays. We are so honored to have Cathy serving on our Board of Directors.

The Opie Open kick started our campaign to raise money for the 2022 Holiday Heroes Fund. 107 children and their families need holiday magic this holiday season. The parents and caregivers are juggling the emotional stress of their child’s diagnosis with the financial stress of giving their family the holiday they deserve after a difficult year. You can join the Heizer family by making your own gift to the 2022 Holiday Hero Fund. Give online at https://bit.ly/HolidayHero2022 or mail your donation to Holiday Hero Fund, PO Box 5512, Richmond VA 23220.

Four people standing together in front of a banner Opie Open

save the date 12th annual heroes art ball friday may 5 2023

12th Annual Heroes Art Ball - Save The Date

Plug this date in your calendar! The 12th Annual Heroes Art Ball is set for Friday, May 5, 2023, returning to the elegant John Marshall Ballrooms. Tickets will go on sale in March 2023.

You know the Heroes Art Ball is more than a fundraising event. It is a magical night for our hero families, caregivers, guests, and you. The Heroes Art Ball raises money for local families who suddenly find themselves juggling caring for a child with cancer and taking care of other family members. Connor’s Heroes gives emotional and financial support starting at their child’s diagnosis, throughout treatment, and more.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter by clicking this link.
You will be the first to hear about ticket sales, exclusive online auction items, and more!

You can be a sponsor of the Heroes Art Ball. Sponsorship levels start at $1,000 and give you generous perks — like reserved seating at your very own VIP table.
Contact Celia Martin at celia@connorsheroes.org or call (804) 897-1272

We would love to feature your product, service, and talent in our online silent auction.
Contact Anne-Randolph Carter at anne-randolph@connorsheroes.org to arrange your donation.

Bookmark The Event Website
save the date 12th annual heroes art ball friday may 5 2023

save the date 12th annual heroes art ball friday may 5 2023

12th Heroes Art Ball

12th Heroes Art Ball benefitting Connor’s Heroes
DATE: Friday, May 5, 2023
: John Marshall Ballroom in the Hotel John Marshall • 101 N 5th St, Richmond, VA 23219
EVENT DETAILS: The Heroes Art Ball includes great food, live music, and a silent auction packed with experiences, unique art, and adventures. The main event is a live auction of pieces of art created from the heart by our childhood cancer heroes, their siblings and local artists.
EVENT SPONSORSHIPS: The past two Heroes Art Balls have SOLD OUT. You can reserve your seat right now. Become a Heroes Art Ball Sponsor. Contact Celia, Executive Director, about what sponsor levels are available: Email celia@connorsheroes.org or call (804) 897-1272.
TICKETS: Tickets will go on sale in March 2023. Click here to sign up to receive emails announcing ticket sales for the Heroes Art Ball [LINK]

A group of children, teenagers and their parents standing on stage together They are holding up a large painting of the Richmond skyline

Child peeking over the top of a table

October Fall Heroes Art Session

It’s Fall Y’All! We broke out all the hits for our October Heroes Art Session with our childhood cancer hero families. Taking center stage was a family favorite, pumpkin painting! Sweet Charlotte knew exactly how to paint her pumpkin. Like a black cat to match her Halloween costume. Sydney and Tay spent time painting the perfect pumpkin. The littles of the group, Matthew and Ahmod, slapped on some paint and then ran off!

Nancy Jacey and her crew have a concept for a collaborative art piece. They will auction it off at the 12th Annual Heroes Art Ball (Save The Date: May 5, 2023). From the looks of it, the painting will be a colorful glittery masterpiece.

The sweet spot was the caramel candy apples. Alvion’s mom, Shaqueenia is a pro at creating yummy treats! The next table over, Patricia helped the kids “paint” Halloween cookies. Catherine, at Holland Baking Company, made the cookies for our childhood cancer hero families.

It was the perfect Fall afternoon.

Our Heroes Art Sessions provide a supportive environment in which childhood cancer heroes and their siblings can make art and build community with other hero families. At the sessions, you feel a collective sense of healing by creating and being together. We are grateful to Visual Arts Center for giving us the space for an open studio. And to our donors who allow the Heroes Art Sessions to happen at no cost to our families.

Childhood Cancer Heroes: Kennedy, Charlotte, Sydney, Tay, with their brothers and sisters

Hero Artist Leaders & Volunteers: Becca, Olivia, Nancy, Patricia, Shaqueenia, Hanan, Sophie, Dee, and Kelsey

All the awards sitting on a table

2022 Hero Squad Soiree

6 of the Hero Squad Members standing with their awards

Congrats to the 2022 Hero Squad

Devon Bortz • Samira Creel • Ashley Devlin • Cole Elliott • Katya Herndon • Julianna Kimes • Lindsey Hollett • Martia Jones • Jessica Overstreet

This squad’s mission was to raise $1,000 each for a big goal of $10,000. They kicked off their fundraising on the first day of September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

So did they reach their goal?


In fact, they reached it twice over! The 2022 Hero Squad raised $22,000 to fund the support Connor’s Heroes gives a family during their child’s cancer journey.

Celia, Connor’s Heroes Staff and Board honored the 2022 Hero Squad at the Hero Squad Soiree at Triple Crossing Fulton. Katya was the top fundraiser. Thank you to the Hero Squad for putting their heart and soul into being a hero a child with cancer.

Katya receives an award from Celia
Top Hero Squad Winner: Katya

The Hero Squad is made up of professionals who have a heart for philanthropy. If you or you know someone to join 2023 The Hero Squad, contact Celia at celia@connorsheroes.org.

You can learn read about past Hero Squads by visiting our website: www.connorsheroes.org/hero-squad/

Two women are standing together on a patio

2022 Circle Of Heroes

Two women are standing together on a patio
Celia and Juliet

Connor’s Heroes marked the conclusion of September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with a reception for our Circle of Heroes. The Circle Of Heroes are people who generously commit an annual gift of $1,000 or more for the childhood cancer heroes who need Connor’s Heroes.

Celia, Connor’s Heroes Staff (Erin, Anne-Randolph, and Ceci) and our Board of Directors loved hearing from our donors about why Connor’s Heroes is important to them.

Taking a moment to thank our donors was our guest speaker, Juliet. Juliet is a hero mom to Meya. Meya finished treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma — a big milestone for her and the family.

We were lucky to have it at a new restaurant in Richmond that is getting a lot of buzz. Cocodrilo was named by Richmond magazine as one of its top new restaurants.

If you want to be a part of our Circle of Heroes, contact Celia. You can email her at celia@connorsheroes.org or call (804) 897-1272. You can easily give online — even setting up monthly payments to make giving easier — https://form-renderer-app.donorperfect.io/give/connors-heroes-foundation/circle-of-heroes

If you want to be a part of our Circle of Heroes, contact Celia. You can email her at celia@connorsheroes.org or call (804) 897-1272.

Celia can explain how you can donate through Charitable Funds (like the Community Foundation or Scwhab), planned giving, etc.

And, you can give online — even setting up monthly payments to make giving easier. Use our secure website to donate online: https://form-renderer-app.donorperfect.io/give/connors-heroes-foundation/circle-of-heroes

A toddler stands with two women

Make & Bake Pizza Party

Connor’s Heroes hosted its 2nd annual Make-Bake-Your-Own-Pizza with the childhood cancer heroes. We started this family-fun event at the Mellow Mushroom in Midlothian. Heather and her crew made it easy for the families to be together. Families had so much fun last year, we thought, why not do it all over again?!?!

Once again, Heather was ready for our hero families. She lined up pizza boxes — inside were a family’s favorite toppings (Our crew loves pineapples on their pizza) and a big ball of fresh dough. After the family rolled out the dough, spread the sauce, and layered on the cheese and toppings, they carried their pizza to the kitchen. The kids were so excited to see their pizza slide into the hot oven and come out exactly as they wanted it.

Who knew making a pizza could be so much fun?!

Time to make the pizzas!

The pizzas are ready for the oven.

Now for the best part. Eating pizzas.

Thank you to Heather and all the staff at Mellow Mushroom in Midlothian. Visit their website https://mellowmushroom.com/location/va-midlothian-1409-huguenot-road-23113/ to check out their hours, menu, and delivery.

If you are a local business who likes to give back, you can be a Hero Partner too. You can host a party for our childhood cancer hero families. Sponsor our gala, The Heroes Art Ball. Or host a give-back-night for Connor’s Heroes. Email celia@connorsheroes.org for information.

Our childhood cancer heroes thank you for giving them this fun event: Skylar, Tay, Valentin, Owen, Kennedy, Javi, Jonathan F., John G., James, Easton, Charlotte, Sydney, Lilana, Joshua, Holden, Austin, Alvion