032719_MNS_Heroes_Saints Ray M. Robinson J. Neal Purcell Lyn Turknett Robert Turknett

The 2019 Heroes, Saints & Legends gala will honor, from left, Ray M. Robinson, J. Neal Purcell and Lyn and Robert Turknett. / Special

Prominent Georgians who all share a commitment to helping older adults live independently longer, with a higher quality of life, will be honored at the 2019 Heroes, Saints & Legends gala presented by the Foundation of Wesley Woods. Set for March 28 at 6 p.m. at Flourish in Buckhead, the event is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Financial services leader J. Neal Purcell, telecommunications industry executive Ray M. Robinson and leadership consultants Lyn and Bob Turknett will be honored at the gala that celebrates Georgians who through their dedication to leadership, service and philanthropy have made significant ongoing contributions to the community.

It will benefit the over 1,800 older adults who live throughout Wesley Woods’ residential communities across north Georgia, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research at Emory University.

“For 30 years, Heroes, Saints & Legends has celebrated some of the most notable Georgians who continue to make an impact in the community and inspire us all to do the same,” Diane Vaughan, the foundation’s president, said in a news release. “It’s wonderful that as we mark this significant anniversary we once again have such distinguished honorees who truly make a difference for others and help make possible the life-changing work of Wesley Woods.”

In a news release, event chair Anne Boyd said, “What could be better than celebrating this landmark anniversary by honoring these four role models who have paved the way for so many? Through this honor, they are also helping older adults age with grace, dignity and purpose. We look forward to having the community join us as we all gather to shine a light on our 2019 honorees and to support the cherished seniors at Wesley Woods.

The 2019 Heroes, Saints & Legends honorees are:

Purcell, retired vice chairman for audit at KPMG LLP, is being recognized for his commitment to a strong and vibrant community through leadership in civic, corporate and United Methodist organizations.

“Heroes, Saints & Legends is a wonderful way to recognize the work Wesley Woods does for a part of our population that is often overlooked,” he said in a news release. “Older adults are a segment of our population that are underserved. Some of them have outlived their resources because perhaps they didn’t quite expect to have the challenges they are now facing. We all want to know, and want to believe that if we need it, Wesley Woods is there and can provide that kind of help.”

Robinson, retired president of AT&T’s Southern region, is being honored for his commitment to revitalizing the underserved and historic community of East Lake and its home as the host of the PGA’s Tour Championship.

“I’m surprised, honored and really thrilled to be recognized by the Foundation of Wesley Woods,” he said in a news release. “To me, reaching the 30th anniversary shows that people recognize that Wesley Woods has done so much for so many for so long. As the population ages, many of us are looking for a place where you can feel comfortable knowing that your loved ones are there. People recognize the good work that is being done at Wesley Woods and I’m pleased to be able to help others learn more about it.”

Lyn and Bob Turknett, co-founders and co-chairs of the Turknett Leadership Group, are being recognized for their commitment to assuring our community’s leaders lead with character and ethics while promoting mental health advocacy for all.

“I fundamentally believe that we are responsible for each other in this life,” Lyn Turknett said in a news release. “It makes a big difference to me that Heroes, Saints & Legends is a Foundation of Wesley Woods event because taking care of people that have a harder time with resources later in life is an extremely important thing to do.”

In a news release, Bob Turknett said, “Years ago, I was in private practice and quickly learned the role emotional support plays in healthy relationships. One of the things I have noticed about Wesley Woods is that the emotional support is strong from staff to residents, residents to staff, peer to peer, and it is really exciting to be a part of that through Heroes, Saints & Legends.”

Last year, a sellout crowd of over 330 people attended the event commending the accomplishments of the 2018 honorees. Heroes, Saints & Legends raised a record-setting $358,825 for Wesley Woods’ ministry. On the night of the event alone, supporters donated over $60,000 to support the organization, helping hundreds of older adults to continue living in thriving communities of love.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Wesley Woods offers housing and supportive services for older adults throughout North Georgia. More than 1,800 older adults, 75 percent of whom need financial assistance and over one-third of whom live below the poverty line, are served annually in Wesley Woods residential communities, primarily in independent living settings.

Tickets are $400 per person, and sponsorships are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets or make a donation, visit www.foundationofwesleywoods.org.

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