TEST HH FINAL
Our three finalists are truly helping others make strides for healthier lives. The winner of our sixth annual challenge will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. Each runner-up will receive a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choosing.
VOTING ENDS NOVEMBER 6, 2017
Founder, Pedal Posse Divas; Women’s biking advocate
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“Stephanie T. Ford is a generous, dedicated and TIRELESS advocate of women’s health and fitness, which began from a personal diagnosis as a potential candidate for diabetes. Ms. Ford has been unwavering in her commitment to the physical health and wellness of young girls and women in Philadelphia through her cycling and running volunteer and charitable initiatives. She is the founder of Pedal Posse Divas, a women’s cycling group that participates locally and abroad in bike rides to raise money for local and well-known national health charities, and has hosted women’s empowerment conferences and workshops via her parent nonprofit organization, Get Cha Mind Right Inc., where she has implemented morning fitness walks, and hosted yoga instructors who lead a group of women in fitness, relaxation and meditation sessions. She has a genuine, caring and giving soul, and I am truly honored to nominate Stephanie T. Ford as a health hero. This well-known quote reminds me of Stephanie: ‘She needed a hero so she became one.’”
Program Director, Back On My Feet Philadelphia
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“Ramon is health hero because he promotes lifelong health and wellness among the homeless — an underserved, high-risk group. As program director of Back on My Feet Philadelphia, a national nonprofit that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential housing and employment resources, Ramon addresses both the physical and mental health of hundreds of Philadelphia’s neediest residents each year. Ramon leads early morning runs three times a week with groups of individuals experiencing homelessness and community volunteers. Many of Back on My Feet’s members are unaccustomed to running or even walking, and Ramon and the BoMF program help get them on a path to increased physical activity and improved health. This path often starts with walking just a few blocks, but ends in many of our members competing in races ranging in length from 5K to ultra-marathons. Ramon’s tireless efforts are improving the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens and strengthening the fabric of our great city.”
Co-founder, Simon’s Fund and Got AED
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“Very simply: I am nominating Darren because his dedication to saving children’s lives is unmatched. Darren (and his wife, Phyllis) mourned the passing of their son Simon 13 years ago. He died in his sleep at just three months old from an undetected hereditary heart condition. Darren has devoted his life to protecting children’s hearts in every way possible. Got AED is an innovative use of technology that allows Darren to protect more hearts all over the country. Got AED was inspired by Simon’s Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and death in children. In 2007, Simon’s Fund began providing free youth heart screenings. Simon’s Fund has spent the last 10 years evaluating all aspects of sudden cardiac arrest in children, and taking action in direct and indirect ways to attempt to prevent another lost heart.”
Introducing the 2017 Health Hero VIP (Very Influential Philadelphian) Finalists. These familiar faces are going above and beyond to make a healthy impact on our community. This year’s champion will receive a $2,500 donation to the charity of his or her choice.
Founder, The Make The World Better Foundation | Former Philadelphia Eagle
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Growing up, Connor Barwin’s parents never shied away from a community assist. “My entire life, they always stressed the importance of taking care and being involved,” he says. His coaches, many of which volunteered their time, also helped to show the young football player how important it was to give back to the neighborhood. Barwin started The Make the World Better Foundation which aims to improve neighborhoods by rebuilding the parks and public spaces that once served as their heartbeat. Barwin and his team speak with community members, learning what they envision their space to be and then working side-by-side to make that dream a reality.
Chief Meteorologist, 6abc Action News
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Cecily Tynan first came to Philadelphia in 1995, when she was appointed weekend weather anchor and reporter for the Action News 6abc team. The award-winning journalist swiftly began participating in countless charity races in the city, first, as a marathon runner and later as an honorary chairperson. Today, as Action News chief meteorologist, it’s Tynan’s job to inform the city of what to expect for their weekly forecast. But her work doesn’t stop there; the former world-class professional duathlete also serves as a megaphone for charities like the American Lung Association and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, her cause of choice as this year’s Health Hero VIP.
Chief Executive Officer, Garces
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Five years ago, the owner and chef of restaurants across the city, including Tinto, Village Whiskey and JG Domestic, started the Garces Foundation to assist Philadelphia’s immigrant community gain access to affordable healthcare. The Top Chef winner, who was born in Chicago to first-generation Ecuadorian immigrant parents, set up the nonprofit so that the same people who helped him grow his own career could gain the educational and language resources to get ahead of their own.