Hornets, Novant Health Honor Community Members At Heroes And Legends Gala

Charlotte’s Most Unique Fundraiser Combined Heroes From The Hardwood With Heroes From The Community
by Quinton Wash

MORE COVERAGE: Gala Gallery | Sneaker Gallery

October 13, 2018 – Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield, along with Novant Health Executive Vice President & Chief Consumer Officer Jesse Cureton, hosted more than 600 guests at Spectrum Center tonight for the Heroes & Legends Gala. The black tie fundraiser, which supports the Novant Health Community Care Cruiser and the Charlotte Hornets Foundation, featured the entire Hornets team in their finest attire and basketball shoes and Emmy® Award-winning sportscaster Ahmad Rashad acting as the evening’s host. In addition to the main program, the red-carpet event also featured a cocktail reception, dinner, a variety of entertainment, and opportunities for guests to participate in a silent auction, raffle and sneaker contest.

Along with raising funds for the Novant Health Community Care Cruiser and the Charlotte Hornets Foundation, the My Hero Gala also serves as an awards celebration, recognizing individuals for their contributions to the Charlotte community. This year’s honorees are: Dr. Clayton Wilcox, Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Education Hero); Rick Hendrick, Owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group (Hunger Hero); Joan Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Shows Inc. (Military Hero); and Dr. David Cook, Founder of Lake Norman Community Health Clinic and Founder/Medical Director of Novant Health Lakeside Family Physicians (Wellness Hero).

Master of Ceremonies Ahmad Rashad is an Emmy® Award-winning sportscaster is best known for serving as host, executive producer and managing editor of the Emmy®-nominated show NBA Inside Stuff for 16 seasons. Rashad has earned multiple Emmy® nominations, including Edited Sports Special/Executive Producer (Soul of the Game), Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host (NBA Inside Stuff), Outstanding Sports Special (NBA Stay in School Special), Outstanding Edited Sports Series, Outstanding Feature, Outstanding Sports Personality Analyst (Commentary)/NBC and Outstanding Sports Personality/NBC. Rashad was a college and professional football star, having been selected for the Pro Bowl four times for the Minnesota Vikings. He was also voted to the Vikings All-Time 25th and 40th Anniversary teams.

Education Hero Dr. Clayton Wilcox was selected as superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in December 2016 by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, and assumed his role on July 1, 2017. Dr. Wilcox was most recently superintendent of Washington County Public Schools in Hagerstown, Maryland, from 2011 to 2017 and also served as superintendent in Pinellas County, Florida, from 2004 to 2008 and in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in Louisiana from 2001 to 2004. He has also worked in the private sector, serving as vice president and then senior vice president for education and corporate relations at Scholastic Inc. from 2009 to 2011.

Hunger Hero Rick Hendrick is NASCAR’s all-time leader in Cup Series owner’s championships with 12, while his Hendrick Automotive Group is one of the largest privately held dealership groups in the country with nearly 140 retail franchises across 14 states. The Hendrick Family Foundation and its predecessor, the Hendrick Marrow Program, have raised more than $15 million since 1997. Through its numerous year-long feeding initiatives, Hendrick Automotive Group has provided more than 3 million pounds of food to families in need throughout the United States. In Charlotte, the company has delivered more than 225,000 bags of groceries and 89,000 weekend food sacks for children in 13 area Title I schools.

Military Hero Joan Zimmerman is the CEO and founder of Southern Shows, Inc., which was started in 1959 and created the first ever Women’s Show in 1983. Zimmerman currently serves on the advisory boards of Veterans Bridge Home, Johnson C. Smith University, the Bechtler Museum of Art, the Levine Museum of the New South and the Mint Museum of Art. She is also a trustee of Good Friends, as well as an advisor to Dress for Success and the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange. In addition, Zimmerman serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Queens University and is a member of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Council at Queens’ McColl School of Business.

Wellness Hero Dr. David Cook is committed to promoting wellness throughout our community. In 1998, after recognizing a need in the community for individuals without health insurance to have access to appropriate and affordable medical care, he began seeing uninsured patients on Wednesday nights in the back of an area grocery store. He soon founded the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic in Huntersville, which is now the oldest and largest medical provider serving the uninsured in Mecklenburg and South Iredell Counties. In addition, Dr. Cook also founded Novant Health Lakeside Family Physicians where he serves as medical director. Novant Health Lakeside Family Physicians has expanded from one site to 15, including three urgent cares and 100 providers, since 1993.

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