“He’s My Hero” Father’s Day photos – Photos courtesy of the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center


The Dallas Examiner

The Mark Cuban Foundation and the Heroes Foundation hosted the fourth annual “He’s My Hero” Father’s Day Photoshoot at the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center in South Dallas, June 10. The event was free and offered fathers, bonus dads and father figures the opportunity to capture memories together during the Father’s Day Season.

Trina Terrell-Adams, the CEO of the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center, expressed excitement while discussing what the foundation added to the experience.

“This year, we have given the fathers a chance to have a full experience with their families,” she said. “The attendees had the opportunity to go home with three different types of photos. We offered complimentary chair massages, several food trucks and swag bags with tons of gear.”

The idea for the event came in 2020, when Terrell-Adams – moved by the lack of family photos shown during the death of George Floyd – recognized the need to provide a Father’s Day experience for those in need.

Johnny Booth, a 24-year father, has looked forward to the event. He and his 14-year-old daughter, LaNaiyuia, said they have considered it to be an important part of their Father’s Day season festivities.

“One of the things I enjoy about being a father, having been one for so long, is watching my children grow over the years,” he said. “Photoshoots like these allow me to capture the memories with my daughter. These photos will mean a lot to us years from now.”

Upon arrival, each family was presented with their first photo opportunity. Each person introduced themselves and received their swag bag. After making their way downstairs into the family room, a couch and photographer Kauwuane Burton await them for their portrait session. The last shoot, a basketball background with the words “He’s My Hero” across the top, gave each family more of a photo booth experience.

Children surrounded their father figure holding signs that read “My Dad is My Hero” and “Father Figure!”

LaNaiyuia said each photo reminded her of all that she has learned from her dad.

“My dad teaches me every day,” LaNaiyuia said. “The biggest thing is respect. Be respectful of everyone and everything around you. Also be careful and pay attention. Even when I’m not with him, I just hear his voice saying those things.”

One of the unique aspects of the event was its continued emphasis on celebrating those in non-traditional paternal situations. Since its inception, the branding and promotion of the photoshoot has welcomed bonus dads and non-biological father figures. Terrell-Adams said she is determined to keep this inclusion of all forms of dads at the core of the event.

“It’s true that father figures and bonus dads play as a big role,” Terrell-Adams said. “It’s more emphasized for us now because we just lost one of the dads that worked with us. And so, I’m sure that his family will have to bring in a grandfather or bonus dad or something like that. We want to celebrate all males that make an impact.”

One such father figure was grandfather Walter Anderson. At age 67, he is now taking care of two of his grandchildren. He is excited that the foundations invited men from all situations to take part in the festivities.

“Even though I am their granddad, this event makes me realize the important role that I and men like me play,” Anderson said. “Yes, we are grandfathers, but we care for them and love them and want the best for them just like ‘real fathers.’ Days like today say that we are doing important work too.”

The organization also put on a free pop-up experience on Father’s Day, June 18, at the Concord Church in Oak Cliff. Programming that emphasized and celebrated men in the lives of Dallas-Fort Worth-area youth are a yearly endeavor for the Heroes Foundation.

“We want to respect everyone’s situation,” Terrell-Adams said. “Especially today, you never know what people are going through. They may not be able to afford the best experience. And because we don’t believe in turning anyone in need away, we welcome all free of charge. In anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour, they can have a great experience with their families at no cost and walk away with a cherished memory.”

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