Merritt Bond to be Honored at Heroes, Saints & Legends Gala
Buckhead banker and community leader Merritt Bond will be recognized by the Foundation of Wesley Woods this April for his commitment to addressing the challenges facing vulnerable older adults through connecting caring people in the community to vital ministries of The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Bond, a retired Bank of America executive, is known throughout the Atlanta community for his ability to bring people together in support of worthy causes. A 50-year member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, he plays an active role in the church leadership. Bond has changed the community by serving in leadership capacities with several nonprofits including as state executive of YMCA of Georgia; a member of Emory University’s Board of Visitors; board chair of the Foundation of Wesley Woods; president of the Young Men’s Roundtable of the High Museum of Art; president of the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce; and, as a board member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Red Cross and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
“When I think about Merritt Bond, I am reminded of the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’,” said the Rev. Bill Britt, senior minister at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead. “Merritt has a gentle spirit and listens to the dreams of others and seeks to help them make it a reality.”
“For over 20 years, Merritt Bond has been a tireless champion for the mission of Wesley Woods and the senior adults we serve,” said Tracy Crump, president and CEO of the Foundation of Wesley Woods. “It is only with volunteer leaders like Merritt, who inspire others to join him to ensure that older adults can age with grace, dignity and purpose, that our residents live in a caring community of love where they can all thrive.”
“We, as Georgians, have a responsibility to care for others because the people that we have counted on to do so much for the community as they age are often forgotten,” said Merritt Bond, Heroes, Saints & Legends honoree. “Many of them don’t have the resources to care for themselves in their later years and that’s why I consider the work of Wesley Woods so important.”
“When Rev. Britt and I shared with Merritt that he had been selected for the honor he humbly said he was not worthy,” said John Ethridge, a long-time family friend and Wesley Woods board member. “Bill and I told him, you’re exactly the person we want to honor as a hero, a saint, and a legend, because of what you do behind the scenes, because of the encouragement that you give others leading them to fall in behind you, and because of the passion that you bring for the mission. You are most certainly a hero, saint, and a legend to us.”
In addition to Bond, the 2018 Heroes, Saints & Legends honorees include Edward J. “Jack” Hardin, who is being honored for his commitment to solving homelessness, poverty, and health issues for the underprivileged and the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and his late wife, Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, for their commitment to social justice, civil rights, and the use of nonviolent tactics to advance change while ministering to the spiritual needs of the oppressed.
The Heroes, Saints & Legends event will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at 6 p.m. at Flourish located at 3143 Maple Drive Atlanta, Ga 30305. Funds raised will benefit Wesley Woods Senior Living’s independent living communities, which serve more than 1,800 older adults annually, 75 percent of whom require financial help to remain living in their Wesley Woods homes, and over 40 percent of whom are living below the poverty level. Funds also support specially designated Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research and education programs at Emory University.
A sellout crowd of 300 people attended the 2017 event commending the accomplishments of the honorees. Heroes, Saints & Legends raised more than $260,000 for Wesley Woods’ ministry, which provides critical services to seniors who had outlived their financial resources, some of whom required higher levels of care that they would not have access to otherwise.
Sponsorship information and tickets for the 2018 event are available now at https://www.foundationofwesleywoods.org/events/heroes-saints-legends/. Donations in support of the mission of Wesley Woods may be made today at https://wesleywoods.thankyou4caring.org/heroes.
About the Foundation of Wesley Woods
The Foundation of Wesley Woods is where caring people give so everyone can age with dignity. It serves as the connection point between the generosity of supporters in the community and the practical, life-changing work of Wesley Woods. Through the philanthropic support of our generous community, older adults of all income levels have a caring community and live thriving lives full of independence and contribution. Through the Foundation, significant benevolence care is extended to those individuals who have outlived their financial resources in order that they may remain in their homes.
About Wesley Woods Senior Living
Wesley Woods Senior Living supports healthy aging by helping older adults live independently longer, with a higher quality of life, via resident-centered communities. Founded in 1954 with the mission to assure all older adults age with grace, dignity and purpose, Wesley Woods provides safe, affordable residential housing and support services for older adults throughout North Georgia. It operates 10 residential communities, including five HUD communities, in Atlanta, Augusta, Athens, Blairsville, Roswell and Newnan. More than 1,800 older adults, 75% of whom will need financial assistance and over 40% of which live below the poverty line, are served annually in Wesley Woods residential communities, primarily in independent living settings. Some communities also include a continuum of care, which includes independent living services, assisted living services, memory care and skilled nursing care.
For additional information, please visit https://www.foundationofwesleywoods.org or follow the Foundation of Wesley Woods at www.facebook.com/WesleyWoodsGA, www.Twitter.com/WesleyWoodsGA and www.Instagram.com/WesleyWoodsGA.
About Heroes, Saints & Legends
Since 1990, Heroes, Saints & Legends has honored individuals who through a lifetime commitment to philanthropy, volunteerism and devotion to the community have transformed lives. Heroes, Saints & Legends is noteworthy for both honoring community leaders and for raising awareness around the challenges many older adults face, and how we can work together to ensure all seniors across North Georgia live independently longer, with a higher quality of life.
Funds raised through Heroes, Saints & Legends benefit two organizations: the ministry of the Foundation of Wesley Woods and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research of Emory University. Through the Foundation, caring supporters combat poverty and homelessness for the older adults living at Wesley Woods so they can age with grace, dignity and purpose.