HERO stands for HELP EXPAND RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES for people with differing abilities.



  • Was incorporated in 1992, as a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide quality recreation opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Provides programs for tots to seniors living with mental retardation, autism, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, visual and hearing impairments, mental illness and those termed, "at-risk."
  • Serves these populations through adapted tennis, dance, movement/song, pet visitations and arts and crafts.
  • Never turns anyone away because of an inability to pay. That is why HERO seeks out funding to provide scholarships for its disadvantaged consumers.
  • Conducts training for volunteers and instructors, so that they are in tune with our philosophy of "fun, positive social experiences, emotional well-being, and where appropriate, fitness."
  • Provides information and advocacy through its research, writing, teaching and speaking engagements.
  • Lessons are scheduled at parks, schools, indoor facilities, group homes, Head Start centers, houses of worship and agencies that serve those with disabilities, throughout the tri-state region.
  • Lessons are tailored to meet the specific needs of each group's abilities.
  • Does special events (adapted tennis carnivals) and will tailor a program to meet an agency's requirements.
  • Classes are offered Monday-Sunday with flexible hours and locations to accommodate individual needs.

The HERO staff are all highly sensitive to the special needs of our youth and are very patient and understanding as they expose them to a new experience in playing tennis. They have a real knack for teaching kids to feel successful right away, which is crucial for youth who have serious self-esteem issues. During the initial session, our residents came in looking indifferent, bored and even fearful. Within a short time, the residents realized they could do something new and really began to enjoy the experience.
— JCAA-Edenwald Center