2019_1015_NobHillGazette_HolidayHeroes_226 (1)
2019_1015_NobHillGazette_HolidayHeroes_226 (1)

Amy Wender-Hoch poses with her son, Nathan. Says Joanne Pasternack, board chair of the Wender Weis Foundation: “Amy’s driven by a force that’s really different. When she calls, I know there’s something going on that’s going to make an impact.” (Nico Oved)

When Amy Wender-Hoch was growing up in New York City, sometimes she felt a little different. She was, as a Dallas Cowboys fan in New York Giants country. Her father, who hailed from Oklahoma, had passed down his love for the team to his daughter, and every year, they’d go watch the Cowboys play the Giants.

One year, after the game, a Cowboys quarterback stopped to talk with Wender-Hoch. Today, she remembers the athlete delivering platitudes — stay in school, dream big, that sort of thing — but the thrill she got from encountering one of her heroes stayed with her. It was a moment she could hold on to whenever things got tough.

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