Man is carrying two boxes decorated with words Happy Summer

Today's Helping Hero: CarMax & The London Company

Today’s Helping Heroes: CarMax and London Company

Today’s Helping Heroes are two Richmond companies. CarMax and The London Company entrusted their teams to find a cause that was important to them and to go out and make a difference. Connor’s Heroes is honored to be their nonprofit-of-choice. For the short time the teams were in the Connor’s Heroes office, we saw their dedication not only to their work, their teammates, but also our childhood cancer hero families.

CarMax Cares

Through a partnership with the Community Foundation, CarMax issued a generous grant to Connor’s Heroes for our Family Fun Packs. A Family Fun Pack is a box filled with games, movies, or crafts to help families enjoy time together, especially when a child is in treatment and often has to stay home.

With the grant from CarMax, we shopped for all things summer: bubbles, sidewalk chalk, sprinklers, lawn games, and water balloons. We even purchased gift cards for ice cream for a family to enjoy on a hot day.

But here is the best part. CarMax employees assembled the Summer Fun Packs at our office. They decorated each box so the family knew something special was inside. Each team member packed a box with a family’s favorite things. By the end of the afternoon, 25 boxes were mailed to children in active treatment. Thanks Carmax for delivering summer sunshine.

London Company Loves

The London Company showed up at our office with cars loaded with boxes and boxes of snacks. They purchased the snacks from the Amazon Wish List.

Snacks are popular with families who practically live in the hospital during their child’s admission. In the Connor’s Heroes Family Room we keep a cabinet stocked with bagged snacks, oatmeal, cookies, mac-and-cheese, breakfast bars, yogurt drinks, and plenty of coffee. When our Program Team makes rounds to visit families, they have bags of snacks to leave in the child’s hospital room.

The London Company increased our supply of snacks with their one donation. The team decorated the snack bags and stuffed them with sweet and salty treats. Within hours, Connor’s Heroes Program Team handed a dozen of them out to families in the hospital.

Getting Involved

Thanks to the hard work of CarMax and The London Company, hero families know they are not alone in their child’s cancer journey. If you work for a company who wants to make a difference like CarMax and The London Company, Connor’s Heroes makes it easy for you. Email Dayna at dayna@connorsheroes.org with your contact information and budget. She will talk with you about the ways your team can volunteer. We have in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities. You too can be a hero to a child with cancer!

Man is carrying two boxes decorated with words Happy Summer
CarMax team member and the Summer Family Fun Packs decorated by his team

Flyer for gelati night at Stony Point location

Gelati Night & Jr. Hero Squad Celebration

Gelati Night & Jr. Hero Squad Celebration

DATE: Wednesday, July 31, 2024
Start Time: 5:00 PM EDT
End Time: 8:00 PM EDT
LOCATION: Gelati Celesti in Bon Air, Stony Point Shopping Center, 3004 Stony Point Rd, Richmond, VA 23235
EVENT DETAILS: When you place your order say “CONNOR’S HEROES.” Gelati Celesti will donate 20% of your purchase back Connor’s Heroes. Remember, the donation only happens when you say “CONNOR’S HEROES” (not on all sales).

Gelati Night will be more than an ice cream party. It will be an award ceremony too! The Jr. Hero Squad will walk the red carpet (well, sidewalk) to receive their awards for doing such an outstanding job fundraising for children with cancer.

If you want to sign up your child for the Jr. Hero Squad, visit our website for information and online interest form: Join The Hero Squad

Flyer for gelati night at Stony Point location

Willow is eating ice cream in the hospital

Today's Helping Hero: Cape Ivy

Today’s Helping Hero is a fellow nonprofit! We want to give a big shout out to Cape Ivy. They shipped us a box full of fun fleece poncho capes. Not just any capes but capes made to keep a child warm in the cold hospital. Capes that won’t tangle in IVs or block a child’s port.

Word on the street… well, the hallway on the hospital’s 12th floor … they are a big hit with our childhood cancer heroes. Aschemund rocked his Spider Man cape for this 8th birthday party in The Connor’s Heroes Consult Room. Willow’s mom sent us this pic of Willow snuggled up in her cape. Thanks Cape Ivy for spreading hugs to childhood cancer heroes in Richmond, Virginia!

If you want to learn more about Cape Ivy, check out their website: https://capeivy.org/about-us/

Willow is in her hospital room with an IV pole

Brandermill Circle Logo

2024 Brandermill 7.4k

Brandermill 7.4k presented by the Brandermill Community Association

DATE: Thursday July 4, 2024
Start Time: 7:30am EDT
End Time: 10:00am EDT
PRICE: $30.00 Race Fee + $2.80 SignUp Fee. Price increases to $35.00 after July 2, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT
REGISTRATION: runsignup.com/Race/VA/Midlothian/Brandermill74k
LOCATION: Clover Hill High School, 13301 Kelly Green Ln, Midlothian VA 23112
EVENT DETAILS: Brandermill 7.4k or Facebook
Race open to runners of all ages.

The Brandermill 7.4k is a walk or run through the neighborhoods of the Brandermill Community in the Swift Creek area of Chesterfield. Proceeds from the race will benefit Connor’s Heroes Foundation.

For sponsorship information, visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/Sponsors/VA/Midlothian/Brandermill74k

Volunteers are needed along the course at water stop stations, photographers, and even bike task force. Volunteering is a great way for students to earn community service hours for school. Sign up to volunteer: https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/VA/Midlothian/Brandermill74k

Brandermill Circle Logo

Savanna is standing outside holding up three games

Today's Helping Hero: Savanna

Savanna stands at a table filled with games

Today’s Helping Hero: Savanna

Today’s Helping Hero is a repeat Hero!!! Savanna was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago! Though her treatment has ended, she still faces some challenges, but always with a brave face. No matter what was going on in her life, Savanna never forgot the ways Connor’s Heroes helped her and her family. Especially during her long stay on the bone marrow transplant unit.

Today, Savanna is a high school senior! She dedicated her senior year project to childhood cancer heroes who are in the hospital. She created an Amazon Wish List of games and crafts she knew a child in the hospital would enjoy. Friends, family and classmates jumped in to help. Jillian was especially happy with the games she hand-picked for our teens.

This was not the first time that Savanna showed up at our office with boxes and boxes of donations. She has held multiple drives for us over the years. We are forever grateful Savanna remains a part of our community of heroes.

If you feel inspired to help children with cancer like Savanna did, Connor’s Heroes makes it easy for you to give back! We created wish lists on Amazon jam packed with toys, crafts, games, clothing, toiletries, drinks, snacks, gift cards, and a few special requests from families. Items are in a variety of prices starting at $5. When you order, ship everything directly to our office. Be sure to include your name so we can thank you for your donations.


A girl is cheering at the party

13th Annual Heroes Art Ball Raised Hope!

The children cheer from the stage
Thank you to Ted L. for placing the highest bid on a Heroes painting at the gala

13th Annual Heroes Art Ball Raised Hope!

The 13th Annual Heroes Art Ball raised money for the increasing number of children diagnosed with cancer in Central Virginia. It also raised hope for more than 100 childhood cancer hero families who are registered with Connor’s Heroes so far this year.

We needed $500,000 to make sure hero families keep receiving gift cards for gas and groceries, help with unexpected expenses, travel for treatment, and so much more. Our guests’ hearts were bigger than our goal. They raised $641,000 — setting a new record!

Thanks to you, Connor’s Heroes can help families who are struggling with the financial toll and emotional uncertainty that comes with their child’s cancer diagnosis.

Our job isn’t finished. Over the weekend, a family registered their 12-year-old son with Connor’s Heroes. He was diagnosed with ALL. Our Program Team has delivered a Heroes Bag and Backpack and is making plans to support the family’s immediate needs while he is in the hospital.

We will keep raising hope for every child with cancer. They need a hero. They still need you.

On behalf of the eight childhood cancer heroes honored at this year’s Heroes Art Ball — Ada, Augie, Aschemund, Harri, Harcum, John, Jericho, and TK — Thank you for caring so much and giving so generously.

headshots of eight children who are with Connor's Heroes
Meet the eight childhood cancer heroes honored at the 13th Annual Heroes Art Ball

❝[The gala was] an incredible night. Thank you so much for letting us be part of it. It was surreal to see all those people bidding on art that our kids helped create and the videos were so special. The kids had a blast and made some new friends. We are so grateful for everything you all have done and continue to do for us and families like ours. I hope you know how much you mean to us.❞
— Samantha, TK’s Mom

Relive The Gala In Photos and Videos

WTVR CBS 6 reporter Tracy Sears was so moved by the outpouring of support for the childhood cancer heroes at the Heroes Art Ball, she put together a report that aired the day after the gala. Watch her report online by clicking this link.

Rebekah Howard’s own journey with cancer connected her to Connor’s Heroes and two teens who battled a similar cancer. Click here to watch the video to learn why we named Rebekah as our 2024 Hero Of The Year. 

We produced a short video of each of hero honored at this year’s gala. From Ada’s infectious giggles, Augie’s doting sisters to TK’s mom’s kind words, you can hear from the families themselves about how cancer has affected their lives. Watch each child’s video here.

Enjoy our photo gallery of pictures of all the guests, childhood cancer heroes, including the photo spot at the entrance. To our guests, if you posed for a photo at the Strum Photo Spot, we will post your photos as soon as they are uploaded.

2024 Heroes Art Ball ~ Hysell Photography

2024 Heroes Art Ball ~ Victoria Jean Photography

2024 Heroes Art Ball ~ Kenzi Flinchum Photography

If you posed at the Strum Photo Spot, find your photo in our gallery!

 

2024 Heroes Art Ball ~ Strum Photo Spot

List of sponsor for the Heroes Art Ball

Rebekah stands in front of paintings in her salon

2024 Hero Of The Year Award

More Than A Volunteer

Rebekah Howard volunteered with Connor’s Heroes at the very first Heroes Art Ball as a stylist. Tonight, the Hero families look beautiful thanks to her and the talented staff from her salon, Serendipity Hair Studio. She is one of the longest serving volunteers for the Heroes Art Balls.

Rebekah’s Connection To Cancer

Rebekah understands when life is interrupted by the shock of cancer. When she was 18, Rebekah was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and again, at age 27, with breast cancer. Having lived her own cancer journey (twice!), Rebekah connects with the young cancer heroes at the Heroes Art Ball. She developed a friendship with two teen heroes, Caroline and Lindsey.

“There was that wonderful connection from both [of us] having blood cancer and both having been through that journey at such a young age.”
— Caroline, childhood cancer hero, diagnosed with ALL on September 23, 2021

Salon Is A Gallery Of Hope

When you walk into Serendipity Hair Studio, every piece of art hanging on the wall was painted by childhood cancer heroes at our Heroes Art Sessions. Whenever Rebekah looks at the paintings, she sees hope. For herself as a cancer survivor and the future of the brave children with Connor’s Heroes.

It is Rebekah’s connection and dedication that we honor with the 2024 Hero Of The Year Award.

“I’m so grateful for [Rebekah] and for supporting Connor’s Heroes. Having such a giving heart, she is willing to share her story. It is special that I have that connection with her.”
— Lindsey, childhood cancer hero, diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on May 22, 2022


2020 Heroes Then & Now

Honoring our 2020 Heroes

Once A Hero, Always A Hero

In 2020, when Connor’s Heroes postponed the Heroes Art Ball, several childhood cancer heroes missed out being honored that year. At this year’s Heroes Art Ball, they will have their moment on the stage! We are pleased to have as our special, special guests: Alvion, Charlotte, Holden, Javi, and June. They represent the hundreds of children who marched through their cancer journeys during the pandemic.

Guiding Other Hero Families

Over the past four years, Alvion, Charlotte, Holden, Javi, and June finished their cancer treatments. Thankfully, for us, they continue to be a part of the Connor’s Heroes community. They come to the Heroes Art Sessions — working side by side with children currently in treatment. Their parents take the time to talk with other parents. They come to our family fun events.

Alvion, Charlotte, Holden, Javi, and June embody Connor’s Heroes belief that our support doesn’t end when treatment ends. At Connor’s Heroes, we believe that once you’re a hero — you’re always a hero!


Dayna new program manager

Meet Dayna, Connor's Heroes New Program & Volunteer Manager

Dayna Header

Connor’s Heroes welcomes Dayna Cobb as our new Program and Volunteer Manager. In this role, Dayna will assist Program Director, Jillian Carpenter, with the care and support of childhood cancer hero families. Dayna will coordinate clinic visits, family events, and more. Dayna will connect the community and corporate partners with volunteer opportunities.

Dayna is passionate about serving families going through a medical crisis. Most of her early career was spent in retail fashion, but she later found her true calling in pediatric support services. Dayna has years of experience in compassionate family care and is dedicated to forwarding the mission of Connor’s Heroes.

Jillian and Dayna make up the Connor’s Heroes Program Team whose purpose is to provide emotional and financial support to every family registered. They will work closely with the healthcare teams at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

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Learn More About Dayna:

What are three words that best describe you?
Compassionate, fun, and adventurous 

What is something you love to do that most people would never imagine?
Something I absolutely love to do, and people actually can imagine it because I talk about it ALL the time, is I am an avid thrift store shopper! I love the “thrill of the hunt” and can spend hours just wandering around a thrift store. And then I will happily brag about my finds!

What was the one best thing that someone ever taught you?
“Look for the helpers.” This lesson came from a Daniel Tiger episode, when Daniel was especially scared. His mom told him to look for the helpers. The helpers come when they are needed, and can help make a scary situation less scary. So always look for the helpers – and if you don’t need one, then become one for someone else who does!

Who is your favorite singer?
I like all types of music across the musical spectrum. From The Cure to Crowder, from Jimmy Buffett to Johnny Cash. From 80’s pop to 90’s alternative, but Prince will forever be my G.O.A.T.!


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April Heroes Art Session

Hero Artist Mentors Create!

Once again, Richmond’s talented artists showed up for our childhood cancer hero kids for our April Heroes Art Session. Returning was Jennike Duignam, Bruce Wilhelm and Katya Herndon.

We welcomed Doug Orleski, aka RVA Coffee Stain, for his first collaboration with the heroes. He had the kids add details to his beautiful painting of Richmond’s iconic bridge. When one hero wanted to paint in a mermaid sitting on a river rock, of course Doug said “Sure, go for it!”

Childhood Cancer Heroes: Aschemund • Ava • Jericho • June• TayNeise’ • Tecumseh • John Modi • Harrison • Ada • Charlie • Caelan • Mykahi • Everett

Hero Artist Mentors & Volunteers: Bruce Wilhelm • Doug Orleski • Katya Herndon • Jennike Duignam • Gurbani • Damian • Patricia • Mehanna • Lauren • Brittany • Crystal • Margot

Picture Credit: Liza Shands and Shelton Ekirch

Save The Date: Heroes Art Ball on May 3, 2024

We will present these paintings and many others in the Live and Silent Auctions of the 13th Annual Heroes Art Ball on Friday, May 3, 2024.

The Heroes Art Ball is Connor’s Heroes biggest night of the year. You don’t need a ticket to join in. You can participate from home. Register as a “virtual bidder” so you can bid on hundreds of items and art in our online auction. Auction registration is Free! http://onecau.se/hab

About Heroes Art Session With Childhood Cancer Heroes And Their Families

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 and to supply the artists with their materials.