12/11/2019 11:55 AM
WHAT HAPPENED IN 2019, CONTINUES INTO 2020
by Danny Heinsohn
Meet Our "Why" - $35,000 in scholarships awarded to this college-bound class in 2019
2019 was an incredible year beginning with a flagship event called Heroes Night Out. In less than 3 months our team created a fresh community initiative for an enticing evening of exploration, inspiration and discovery in Victorian Square. With over 200 people in attendance we were able to award $20,000 in scholarships from this inaugural event. Our largest impact from a single initiative.
For an extensive Facebook photo gallery, click on this link. Photography courtesy of Chris Holloman.
Shout outs to our Spring partners and sponsors for enabling the great success of this event.
For some historical context, when I founded My Hometown Heroes in 2010 to celebrate my 10th year remission from brain cancer, we awarded over $30,000 for the first 5 years of the foundation through 2015. For those first 5 years I worked a full time corporate job, trained for marathons and triathlons, and traveled. My Hometown Heroes was founded to celebrate my 10th year of remission. But what began as a milestone is now a mission.
Every year there are over 77,000 young adults between the ages of 15 and 39 who are diagnosed with cancer. It's one of the most overlooked and underserved demographics in our country.
After I published my book in 2014 to share my story and lessons learned opportunities arose with recognition on national stages, a TED talk, and bigger media opportunities. It was during this time when I decided to act bigger on this higher calling. I left my corporate job of over 13 years in 2015 to pursue a massive goal to award $1,000,000 to college bound cancer survivors from across the country by 2020.
At that time we only had $3,000 in operating capital because the majority of funds raised were purposed for scholarships. It was at this time when I realized that in order for this organization to grow and become sustainable we needed to look at it as a business, and build a team.
Since 2016, My Hometown Heroes has quadrupled our impact through the development of strong community leadership, better focus, and a higher level of engagement.
And to give you an idea of where our recipients are coming from over the past few years, our very own Garrett Winkelmaier and past MHH recipient, created this map.
We are grateful for the community that's enabled us to make such an impact. We couldn’t do this without this amazing support.
Until 2019, our initiatives have been focused in the Spring but this year we activated 4 Fall community initiatives in 30 days, and our usual sports event initiatives over the summer.
Sending out more love to our Summer and Fall partners...
The momentum coming into 2020 is strong. The mission of My Hometown Heroes is helping to bridge the gap between cancer and college, one scholarship at a time. In celebration of our 10 year anniversary in 2020, we will be sharing milestones of our recipients and our organziation over the past decade.
While the vision to award $1,000,000 in scholarships is a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) we aren’t attached to the outcome, but focused on the process to get us there. Who knows, one viral campaign can make this possible. #CelebrateYourMilestones.
Celebrate your milestones. Celebrate what you’re grateful for. We all go through difficult times and sometimes it’s important to reflect on our journeys to truly appreciate how far we’ve come.
We invite you to celebrate with us for our 2020 campaign!
What to look forward to...
Growing our committees to support infrastructure pillars such as Donor Relations, Recipient Relations, and our Champions Program
Community development to create stronger brand awareness and impact around the stories of our recipients. Every recipient has a story, family, doctors, college, and friends to evangelize the MHH mission
Video content and distribution
Increased engagement through social media
Develop relationships with larger media outlets for opportunities to be feature on Ellen, The Today Show, Oprah, etc.
While creating an infrastructure we are mindful to celebrating the small moments along the way. It’s the accumulation of small victories that lead to our greatest moments.
We’d like to recognize, Darrell Plummer, owner of Sierra Nevada Properties and a huge supporter for the Northern Nevada Community. Darrell has been a tremendous force for My Hometown Heroes since he joined the board in 2016. Darrell helped align several community partnership opportunities and was very generous allowing us to share the spotlight with his other platforms such as the WIN Breakfast Series, event sponsorship, and introductions to many great resources.
Darrell was recently appointed to serve a 3 year term as a member of the Nevada Real Estate Commission which began on November 1, 2019. Along with that he is the current president of the Chamber of Commerce, and is chair elect to serve on the JUSTin Hope Foundation for autism.
Darrell – We salute you for your service to My Hometown Heroes and our community. Thanks for sharing over 150 miles in hiking adventures this year.
In closing we wish you the very best for the holidays and a prosperous 2020. And remember to Celebrate What You’re Grateful For!