Member Profile: Superheroes for Hope

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We recently talked with James Coats, CEO of Phalanx Defense Systems and Founder of the Superheroes for Hope Foundation about what he’s doing to make local children and families smile.

What is Superheroes for Hope and why did you launch it?
The Superheroes for Hope Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization which aims to create extraordinary experiences for everyday superheroes by inspiring hope and enhancing the lives of all people by providing them with positive experiences to celebrate life.

The theme of the foundation is obvious to anyone who knows Phalanx Defense Systems or has visited our “Hall of Justice Building” on 8th Ave. Everything we do is about superheroes. The armor we manufacture protects real life superheroes in law enforcement and in the military. We also love legendary comic superheroes like Batman, the Incredible Hulk and others and have made them a primary design feature on our campus.

So “Superheroes for Hope” really was a natural fit for an effort I saw a need for in our community, and felt passionate about meeting—making kids facing critical or chronic illness and their families smile.

What is Everyday Heroes all about?
Everyday Heroes Month features focused events and the distribution of t a commemorative calendar. During Everyday Heroes Month, our first-response community heroes, including firefighters, police, and others celebrate THEIR heroes – local children with special and complex medical needs. Everyday Heroes is a program of the Superheroes for Hope foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization which aims to create extraordinary experiences for everyday superheroes by inspiring hope and enhancing the lives of all people by providing them with positive experiences to celebrate life.

Everyday Heroes is made possible by the generosity of program sponsors and donors. Our next event is Everyday Heroes night at Lucky’s tomorrow, Oct. 25. A portion of Lucky’s proceeds for the evening will be donated to Superheroes for Hope. If you plan to buy groceries this week, please stop in at Lucky’s tomorrow!

What is an Extraordinary Superhero Experience?
The concept of an Extraordinary Superhero Encounter is to make children and their families smile. It really is that simple. Because regardless of whatever illness they face or treatments they receive, in their hearts they are children and they just want to have fun like other kids, in whatever way they are able to. I know firsthand how this feels, having experienced illness myself as a child.

Our Extraordinary Superhero Experiences are designed to provide a fun experience to a child in whatever unique way that will be meaningful to that child, and to give them and their family a temporary escape to a fun place where there is always hope.

How can the community get involved?
You can help in multiple ways: you can become a Justice League sponsor, or you can host a benefit event. Our sponsorships offer multiple options that all provide a visible way for your company to help kids. You can purchase a page or cover in the Everyday Heroes calendar, have your logo featured in printed materials and more. Hosting a benefit event is great for restaurants, retailers and recreational establishments. It’s simple. Pick a day to sponsor your event and agree on a percentage of that day’s profit to donate to Superheroes for Hope. Donations are tax deductible

Other ways to get involved would be to participate in an Extraordinary Superhero Experience – this could involve donating time, products or services to make that experience even better for the special child it is designed for.

Where can we find more information?

Contact Foundation Coordinator Rita Puentes at r.puentes@superheroesforhope.org or 352-363-6374. She will make an appointment to talk with you and help you determine how you can be a hero in these childrens’ lives.

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