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Who We Are

About D.J.'s Hero Awards

The Salvation Army D.J.’s Hero Awards Program is named in memory of D.J. Sokol, who lost his battle with cancer in 1999 at age 18.  His parents, David and Peggy Sokol, established the program to honor the achievements of outstanding Nebraska high school seniors who overcome adversity and show outstanding leadership qualities in their communities.  Every year, a new group of recipients is presented with $12,000 D.J.'s Hero Awards scholarships during the Hero Awards Luncheon, which is held in Omaha.  More than two decades after the founding of the program, D.J.’s legacy lives on in the scholarship recipients—all of whom demonstrate his trademark resilience, kindness, and generosity. 

Who We Are

David and Peggy Sokol established the D.J.’s Hero Awards in 1999 as a way to ensure that D.J.’s selflessness and his kindness and compassion toward others would live on beyond his passing.

Each year, the D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon provides scholarships to a group of talented, community- and service-oriented Nebraska high school seniors who have demonstrated resilience, courage, and perseverance in the face of daunting challenges. Each scholarship is worth $12,000. As of late 2023, 206 scholarships have been awarded since the inception of this program.

What we do

The D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon is The Salvation Army of Omaha’s largest event of the year. Proceeds from the event help to fund The Salvation Army of Omaha’s youth programs, which offer educational, mentoring and social opportunities that nurture the minds, bodies, and spirits of metro-area children and teens.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


Jeff Beckman
Executive Director of Development

Gennesis Reyes
Interim Director of Events & D.J.’s Hero Alumni Director

Todd Andrews
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications