Impact A Hero (IAH) was started in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2004 by founder Richard (Dick) Lynch. At the time, Dick had recently written a book on leadership, with an underlying principal of the importance of service to others. Having watched the men and women return home from the War on Terror with serious physical and emotional wounds, he knew he had received his calling and was determined to help them with their new life challenges and situations - wounded heroes was his new mission in life.
The first Impact A Hero event occurred in New York City at the New York Athletic Club. We honored wounded heroes from the War on Terror and individuals like Dr. Dick Traum. He completed the New York City Marathon, becoming the first leg amputee to complete such an event with a prosthetic leg, and also the founder of Achilles Track Club for disabled athletes.
As Impact A Hero began to grow, Dick knew he had to expand outside of Cincinnati. Dick was doing a book signing in Houston with Neil Bush, son of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush. During this visit, he also met Jim Hoelker, currently IAH Chairman of the Board. With the help of Neil and Jim, they hosted the first Impact A Hero Weekend, consisting of a 5K Race, Gala Dinner and Golf Tournament. Jim assembled a team of volunteers and focused on the Sugar Land, Texas community to spread the word of Impact A Hero.
Neil Bush introduced Dick to Paul Marchand, General Manager of Shadow Hawk Golf Club, where the golf tournaments were first held. Ben Crenshaw was also introduced and he became our celebrity golf professional for a number of years and chose Impact A Hero as his charity of choice for the Senior Skins Game in Maui, Hawaii. Peter Jacobsen now supports Impact A Hero and provides golf lessons to our heroes at the annual golf tournament.
IAH Logo #35.
Dick met Christian Okoye, former NFL Kansas City Chiefs player, during a life skills camp for Native American youths at risk. Dick introduced Christian to Impact A Hero and he was supportive immediately. Christian introduced friends such as Jim McMahon (Chicago Bears), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (Dallas Cowboys), and many other celebrities to Impact A Hero.
“It is fitting the community supports Impact a Hero, because many injured veterans benefit from the Organization’s effort. These young men and women give everything to ensure our freedom to make United State of America, the greatest country in the world.” – Christian Okoye. Because of his involvement and support, we paid tribute to Christian by adding his football #35 in the Impact A Hero logo.
In addition to our annual Impact A Hero Weekend in Houston, we continue to have roots in Cincinnati. We work with Bob Castellini, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, and host Impact A Hero Reds Opening Day for the past six years. Our wounded heroes are honored in a downtown parade before the game and then on the field in a pregame ceremony. We also have two Hero Motorcycle Rides in Cincinnati with over 600 motorcycles participate.
In 2005 the inaugural Impact A Hero Weekend was held in Sugar Land, Texas. It was the beginning of a grass roots effort by Impact A Hero to provide a network of much needed continuous emotional and financial support services to our wounded heroes
The IAH Weekend brings severely-wounded heroes from post 9/11 combat and their families, together with contributors and supporters for events consisting of:
The weekend provides our veterans a chance to bond with other wounded veterans. They are able to relax and emotionally recharge as they connect with people who are also healing and recovering. The Houston community also has a unique opportunity to personally thank our heroes for their service and sacrifice, providing valuable and tangible support for their healing journey.
In 2013, the 5K and Hall of Fame Gala & Auction will be held at Reliant Stadium. For more information about the events, please click here:
Impact A Hero is an organization committed to help severely wounded heroes who have fought and sacrificed so much for our country – you, me and our future. IAH receives support by the dedication and commitment of our corporate sponsors, individual supporters as well as our volunteers.
“Volunteers commit a huge amount of time, energy and talent to Impact A Hero. They are the cornerstone of the organization.” – Dick Lynch.
Our wounded veterans wear the scars of their patriotism daily. We are all called to challenge ourselves to wear our patriotism daily and Impact A Hero is a great vehicle to partner with to make that happen. Please Donate Today!