Bobcats, Novant Health Honor Community Members at Sixth Annual My Hero Gala

Charlotte’s most unique fundraiser and black tie event bringing heroes from the hardwood together with heroes from our community

My Hero Gala Landing Page

Charlotte, NC September 16, 2013 – Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President & Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield, along with Novant Health Chief Consumer Officer Jesse Cureton, will host more than 500 guests at the Hilton Charlotte City Center on Saturday, October 26, 2013, for the sixth annual “My Hero Gala” black tie fundraiser to support the Novant Health Community Care Cruiser and the Cats Care Foundation. Presented by Deloitte, the “My Hero Gala” features the entire Bobcats team and coaching staff donning tuxedos and basketball shoes. This red-carpet event includes a cocktail reception, dinner and opportunities for guests to participate in activities such as a silent auction, wine raffle and sneaker contest.


In addition to raising funds for the Novant Health Community Care Cruiser and the Cats Care Foundation, the “My Hero Gala” also serves as an awards celebration, recognizing individuals for their contributions in our community. This year’s award winners are: Community Activist and former North Carolina Council for Women Executive Director Jill Dinwiddie (Community Hero), Duke Energy Corporation Human Resource Management and Workforce Strategy Manager Jenny Ward (Community Hero), Novant Health Hemby Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Medical Director Larry Brady, MD (Healthcare Hero), Charlotte Bobcats center Brendan Haywood (Sports Hero) and the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage (Shining Star Award).

Community Hero recipient Jill Dinwiddie has served on ten different local boards in various cities, five state-wide boards, two multi-state boards and two national boards ranging from women’s, international education/intercultural and arts organizations to a community foundation. She has worked on four state-wide political campaigns – two U.S. Senate races, one State Superintendent of Public Schools race and one Governor’s race. Since moving to Charlotte in 2003, Jill has served on the board of Lillian’s List of NC and the NC Domestic Violence Commission, and currently serves on the boards of the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, Planned Parenthood Health Systems, NC Arts Council, Women’s Impact Fund and is a member of Women Executives in Charlotte. In November 2009, she was appointed by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to the full-time position of Executive Director of the NC Council for Women, a state agency serving women across four regions in North Carolina. She recently retired from that position and returned to Charlotte. Jill serves as co-chair of the eNOugh campaign to end domestic violence across various community sectors.

Recognized as one of the Charlotte Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” professionals to watch in Charlotte, Community Hero recipient Jenny Ward is responsible for culture integration for the Progress Energy merger and building a performance culture to support the mission, values and strategic priorities of the nation’s largest energy provider and No. 2 investor-owned utility in the world. Jenny was appointed by Governor Perdue to chair the NC Council for Women. Her community service spans board participation for the following organizations: Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council, Safe Alliance, Women Executives for Community Service, the Catawba Lands Conservancy, Planned Parenthood Health Systems four state affiliate and the NC Governor’s Conference for Women. She also serves as co-chair for the eNOugh campaign to end domestic violence in North Carolina, a public-private community model focused on prevention and education of domestic violence across various community sectors. In 2011, Jenny was awarded the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership award.

Healthcare Hero recipient Dr. Larry Brady has tirelessly dedicated his time, knowledge and energy to Charlotte’s most vulnerable and tiny patients, serving more than 10,000 babies within Novant Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) over the last 26 years. Dr. Brady cared for the world’s fourth smallest baby born to survive, weighing only 9.6 ounces upon entering the world, who was able to leave the hospital with her family 183 days later. Under Dr. Brady’s leadership, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center’s NICU has grown from a small unit serving 10 to 12 babies per day to an American Academy of Pediatrics certified level IV NICU serving 600 newborns each year with advanced technology, skill and compassion. Dr. Brady was recognized as a 2013 Physician of the Year by the Charlotte Business Journal and has been nominated by his peers as one of Charlotte’s “Top Docs” for five consecutive years.

Sports Hero recipient Charlotte Bobcats center Brendan Haywood, whose mother was a single parent, established the Brendan Haywood Single Parents Fund, which aims to support programs that assist underprivileged single parent families. After joining the Bobcats in the summer of 2012, Haywood immediately immersed himself in the local community. In February 2013, he announced he would pay the electric bills for one year for 15 single mothers and their families who are participating in the rapid re-housing program through the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Women and Children’s Shelter. The rapid re-housing program offers women job resources and assistance in order to move from the shelter into market rate housing. Haywood knows that helping these women pay their electric bill gives them the chance to use their money towards savings and ultimately benefiting their children. More recently, Haywood gave away backpacks and school supplies to 100 children at the Center of Hope and made a donation to the shelter to go toward bus fare for residents, which is one of the shelter’s biggest challenges.

The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage is named after Jamie Kimble, the 31-year-old beloved daughter of Charlotte Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble and his wife Jan, who was murdered by her former boyfriend on Labor Day 2012. Jamie was a person of faith, an ambitious worker, a loyal friend to all including her Tri-Sig Sorority Sisters, an avid sports fan and runner and a loving daughter who cared deeply for her family. She was a 2002 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Health and had recently been promoted by Coca-Cola Consolidated of Charlotte to assume a Director position in Dallas, Texas. Jamie’s smile and zest for life were matched only by the selfless manner in which she served others. She also showed tremendous courage to leave a mentally abusive relationship. Upon her death, Jamie’s parents established The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage to raise awareness of domestic violence issues, to help other victims of abuse, and to fund innovative programs that will curb the spread of domestic violence. The Jamie Kimble Scholarship for Courage has also been established in her honor at Chapel Hill. The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage will receive this year’s Shining Star.

Past “My Hero Gala” honorees include: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Zone Superintendent of Project Leadership and Investment For Transformation Denise Watts, USA Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team Head Coach David Kiley, former Charlotte Bobcats center Emeka Okafor, The Urban Restoration Inc. Executive Director Colin Pinkney, practicing physician and past president of Mid Carolina Cardiology Dr. Yele Aluko and former Charlotte Bobcats guard Raymond Felton.

Novant Health Community Care Cruiser
This 40-foot medical clinic-on-wheels and its hospital staff combat healthcare disparities among underserved children across the region and provide preventive pediatric medical care. The Novant Health Community Care Cruiser and its clinical staff have logged thousands of miles, treated thousands of patients, administered thousands of immunizations and provided important referrals to other community resources and agencies since starting in 2007.

Cats Care Foundation
Through its Cats Care initiative, Bobcats Sports & Entertainment is committed to helping the needs of the community in the areas of education, hunger and wellness.  Bobcats players and staff are actively engaged in the community, volunteering their time and efforts to serve these key areas.