May 25th Fundraiser for Healing 4 Heroes and UCF RESTORES

Healing 4 Heroes

Come join us on Friday, May 25th for the Healing 4 Heroes Second Annual Fundraiser

Held at the Rib City Barn in Grant, FL (5390 S US Hwy 1), this 5:00-8:30 p.m. event will be fun for the entire family; featuring raffles, a silent auction, music, games, and great food, with 100% of the proceeds going towards free psychological counseling for first responders and military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

While many people have heard of the psychological toll of combat, few realize PTSD’s devastating impact on first responders—fire fighters, police, and emergency service workers—whose suicide rates have been steadily climbing. According to a 2015 article published in Journal of Emergency Medical Services, of the 4,022 first responders surveyed across all 50 states, more than 6.6% had attempted suicide—that’s more than 10 times the rate seen in the general population.

First responder suicides here in the Central Florida area have continued to impact the community and families of these men and women who sacrifice so much for the benefit of the general public.

UCF Restores

All funds raised at the Healing 4 Heroes event will be donated to the University of Central Florida’s unique and highly successful program known as UCF RESTORES.

Since its inception in 2011, UCF RESTORES has treated over 250 first responders and military through integrated use of new and emerging technologies to enhance prevention, intervention, treatment, and resiliency efforts in patients. The numbers say it all: over two-thirds of participants show no signs of PTSD after just three weeks of therapy, with 1% relapse after six months.

Unlike traditional programs, which often are months long to complete, UCF RESTORES intensive program helps return those affected by PTSD to their jobs, families and communities in record time. Their innovative therapy relies, in part, on high-tech virtual reality imagery to expose the participant to an anxiety-producing event in a safe environment. Combined with traditional group therapy sessions and homework, the program has helped FL residents, as well as military and first responders in over 25 states across the U.S.

Healing 4 Heroes Fundraiser

A $5 ticket at the door gets you into the Healing 4 Heroes fundraiser. Dozens of raffle prizes and silent auction gifts range from health, fitness and action-and-adventure packages, to gift certificates from local restaurants, hotels, and more. Raffle tickets are just $1; and Rib City will be offering dinner specials.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of West Shore High School student Ana Gent whose father—Brian Gent—is District Chief for the Palm Bay Fire Department (PBFD). Determined to prevent more suicides, Ana conceived and orchestrated Healing 4 Heroes with the help of the Palm Bay Firefighter’s Benevolent Community Inc., which raised over $3,100 for UCF RESTORES at last year’s event. Tax-deductible donations for this year’s event are also being sought out.

Healing 4 Heroes


For more on UCF Restores visit sciences.ucf.edu/psychology.

For more on the Healing 4 Heroes event, or if you’d like to help, contact gentadrienne@yahoo.com.