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Wesley Woods Foundation Honors All-Female LineUp for 2022

Wesley Woods Foundation Announces All-Female Lineup of Honorees for 2022 Heroes, Saints and Legend Awards
The Annual Heroes Saints and Legends Awards and Gala Returns in September 2022

Atlanta, Georgia (May 2021) – For the first time in the history of Heroes, Saints and Legend Awards, all three honorees are women. The Foundation of Wesley Woods will present the awards at their Heroes, Saints and Legends Gala on September 15, 2022. The annual event honors individuals who have transformed Atlanta’s community through a lifetime of achievement and commitment to leadership, service, and philanthropy.

The 2022 honorees are:

  • Billye Aaron, a retired educator of Spelman, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and South Carolina State colleges, former television personality, and nonprofit executive including the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, director emeritus, and wife of baseball legend Hank Aaron;
  • Judy Greer, retired educator serving a 33-year tenure at Oxford College of Emory University, and first female full professor;
  • Virginia Hepner, retired President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, former banker and currently director of Cadence Bank, Oxford Industries, Inc., National Vision Holdings, and the Westside Future Fund non-profit.

“For the first time in our 33-year history, we will honor three remarkable women who have blazed historic trails and widened paths for others through extensive community leadership and passions for Atlanta arts and culture, racial justice, affordable housing, education access and business,” said Diane Vaughan, president of the Foundation of Wesley Woods.   “Each of these recipients has scored firsts for women — from first African American woman talk show co-host in the Southeast, to first female professor hired at a Georgia University and first female CEO and director of two corporate boards, all while demonstrating a life-long devotion to Atlanta with countless contributions to our community.  We are proud to call them our heroes.”

Since the event’s inception in 1990, 109 of Atlanta’s most exemplary leaders have been celebrated and more than $7.2 million have been raised for charitable care, pastoral care, and wellness programming at Wesley Woods.

Ms. Vaughan finds the historic lineup of women honorees quite fitting as she noted “in the Wesley Woods world, seventy percent of the residents in our ten communities are women.”

“While Wesley Woods is a critical Atlanta institution for providing affordable housing for our region’s older adults, we provide so much more”, said Vaughan.  “Funds raised through Heroes, Saints and Legends opens the door to housing and meals to those who have outlived their resources, on-site chaplains providing pastoral care, and innovative wellness programming to help seniors live independently for as long as possible.”

This year’s event organizers forecast another highly anticipated event with sincere support for a population emotionally impacted by the ongoing pandemic.   The 2022 event co-chairs are Clark Dean, executive managing director at Transwestern, and Bob Hope, president, and co-founder of Hope Beckham, Inc.  Best-selling author and veteran reporter Sally Sears of CBS46 will serve as emcee.

“We welcome sponsors with an array of 2022 opportunities to show both individual and corporate support for the older adults at Wesley Woods, said Vaughan.  “And we encourage the community to join us in September as we shine a light on our 2022 honorees and support Atlanta seniors that have made Wesley Woods their home.”

The 33rd Annual Heroes, Saints and Legends will be held on Thursday, September 12 at Flourish by Legendary Events, 3143 Maple Drive Atlanta, Georgia.  For additional information on the 2022 honorees, visit  For sponsorship information, please visit

About Wesley Woods Senior Living
Imagined in 1954 by innovative leaders of the United Methodist Church and the greater Atlanta community, Wesley Woods is a mission-driven non-profit creating communities of connection, wellbeing, and promise for older adults.  With ten retirement communities throughout North Georgia, we provide various levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing.

The Foundation of Wesley Woods is the connection point between the generosity of supporters in the community and the practical, life-changing work of Wesley Woods. Donor support helps us achieve our mission by providing robust wellness programming, a compassionate pastoral care program and charitable financial assistance for housing and meals, all of which enables residents to live independently longer, delaying or perhaps eliminating the need for them to move to higher, more restrictive, and more expensive levels of care.

Past Honorees of the Heroes, Saints and Legends are:

H. Allen Ecker
Phil Jacobs
Bishop Woodie W. White
Cecelia Ratcliffe
David Ratcliffe
Dr. Carolyn Curry
Coach Bill Curry
J. Neal Purcell
Ray M. Robinson
Dr. Bob Turknett
Lyn Turknett
Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery
Edward J. “Jack” Hardin
Merritt Steed Bond
Bishop John H. Adam
Dr. Dolly Desselle Adams
Ann Q. Curry
Hank M. Huckaby
Dr. J. David Allen
Lillian Budd Darden
Egbert L. J. Perry
Bill Bolling
Shirley Franklin
Dr. Monica Parker (Key to a Cure recipient)
Rev. Dr. Don Harp
Dr. Linton Hopkins
Ingrid Saunders Jones
Lonnie Ali (Key to a Cure recipient)
Vince Dooley
Monica Pearson
Allan Levey, MD (Key to a Cure recipient)
S. Truett Cathy
Ann Cramer
Carl Ware
W.N. “Bill” Wilkins (Key to a Cure recipient)
Pat Epps
Sam Massell
Frank Broyles (Key to a Cure recipient)
Paul S. Amos
Mahlon DeLong, M.D. (Key to a Cure recipient)
Andrew Young
Azira Hill
Jesse Hill
Lou Brown Jewell
Ferrol A. Sams
Walter E. Massey
Colleen O’Brien Nunn
B. Franklin Skinner
W. Lee Burge
Harold A. Dawson, Sr.
Alana Smith Shepherd
Dorothy H. Addison
Gay McLawhorn Love
Marvin H. Shoob
Elizabeth Wilson
Henry L. Aaron
J. Willis Hurst, M.D.
Dr. Berta R. Laney
Dr. James T. Laney
Mary Duckworth Gellerstedt
Clyde Rodbell
Felker W. Ward, Jr.
John E. Aderhold
Jeanne Rolfe Ferst
Horace T. Ward
N. Bond Fleming
Dorothy C. Fuqua
J.B. Fuqua
Louis W. Sullivan
Rosalynn S. Carter
Homer C. Rice
Herman J. Russell
L. Scott Allen
Leila D. Denmark
Thomas B. Murphy
Ivan Allen, Jr.
Louise Richardson Allen
Elliott Goldstein
Rawson Haverty
M. Louise McBee
Randolph W. Thrower
Beatrice H. Haas
Franklin M. Garrett
Virlyn B. Moore, Jr.
J. Elliott Galloway
Daniel H. Magill, Jr.
LeRoy T. Walker
Charles R. Yates
Donald L. Hollowell
Elmo I. Ellis
Frances F. Pauley
William R. Cannon
Rebecca Y. Frazer
Manning M. Pattillo, Jr.
Albert J. Bows
Celestine Sibley
Boisfeuillet Jones
Martha H. Ellis
W. Candler Budd
A.B. Padgett
George B. Hightower
Henry L. Bowden, Sr.
D.W. Brooks
Selma T. Richardson
Eleanor L. Richardson
Constantin Chatov
Dean Rusk
Elbert P. Tuttle

Last updated on March 24, 2022

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