For the first time in the history of Heroes, Saints & Legend Awards, all three honorees are women.  The Foundation of Wesley Woods will present the awards at their Heroes, Saints & 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;  
  • Dr. 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 & 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 & Legends will be held on Thursday, September 12 at Flourish by Legendary Events, 3143 Maple Drive Atlanta, Ga.  For additional information on the 2022 honorees, visit here.  For sponsorship information, please visit