Meet The 2018 Heroes, Saints & Legends Honorees


Drs. Joseph E. & Evelyn Lowery, Edward J. “Jack” Hardin & Merritt Steed Bond to be Honored at the 2018 Heroes, Saints & Legends Gala

Prominent Georgians who all share a commitment to helping older adults live independently longer, with a higher quality of life, will be honored at the 2018 Heroes, Saints & Legends gala presented by the Foundation of Wesley Woods.

Philanthropist Merritt Steed Bond, attorney and homeless activist Edward J. “Jack” Hardin and Civil Rights leaders Dr. Joseph E. and Dr. Evelyn Lowery will be honored at the signature annual event that celebrates Georgians who have made significant ongoing contributions to the community through their dedication to leadership, service, and philanthropy.

The Heroes, Saints & Legends event will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at 6 p.m. at Flourish located at 3143 Maple Drive Atlanta, Ga. 30305. Funds raised will benefit Wesley Woods Senior Living’s independent living communities, which serve more than 1,800 older adults annually, 75% of whom require financial help to remain living in their Wesley Woods homes, and over 40% of whom are living below the poverty level. Funds also support specially designated Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research and education programs at Emory University.

“Heroes, Saints & Legends gives us all the opportunity to recognize the commitment of our honorees to improving the lives of others,” said Tracy Crump, president & CEO of the Foundation of Wesley Woods. “Each one of these admirable yet humble leaders has made a tremendous impact in our Metro area. We look forward to having the community join us in honoring them for their tireless work to life up others, especially the underserved and marginalized, and in making possible the life-changing work of Wesley Woods.”

“One of the wonderful things about Georgia is the willingness of everyone to join together to help seniors age with dignity,” said Mary Patton, chair of Heroes, Saints & Legends. “Heroes, Saints & Legends promises to be a marvelous event that will leave you inspired by the people it serves, thanks to the giving of others.”

The 2018 Heroes, Saints & Legends honorees include:

Dr. Joseph E. Lowery – Civil rights leader, social activist and United Methodist pastor
Dr. Evelyn Lowery (deceased) – Civil rights leader and social activist
Recognized for their commitment to social justice, civil rights, and the use of nonviolent tactics to advance change while ministering to the spiritual needs of the oppressed.

Mr. Edward J. “Jack” Hardin – attorney and a founding partner of Rogers & Hardin
Recognized for his commitment to solving homelessness, poverty, and health issues for the underprivileged while being an advocate for legal aid access to all.

Mr. Merritt Steed Bond – banking industry leader and philanthropist
Recognized for his commitment to addressing the challenges facing vulnerable older adults through connecting caring people in the community to vital ministries of The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church.

A sellout crowd of 300 people attended the 2017 event commending the accomplishments of honorees. Heroes, Saints & Legends raised more than $260,000 for Wesley Woods’ ministry, which provides critical services to seniors who had outlived their financial resources, some of whom required higher levels of care that they would not have access to otherwise.

Sponsorship information and tickets for the 2018 event are available now at Donations in support of the mission of Wesley Woods may be made today at

United Methodist-related Wesley Woods offers housing and supportive services for older adults throughout North Georgia. More than 1,800 older adults, 75 percent of whom need financial assistance to remain living in their Wesley Woods homes, and over one-third of whom live below the poverty line, are served annually in Wesley Woods residential communities, primarily in independent living settings.