Superhero Support started when a child struggled with life's difficulties and then felt distracted and inspired by comic book superheroes. They provided symbols of hope that taught him to choose character and courage when there was fear and despair. Issues related to feeling different, bullying, peer pressure, learning, decision-making, teamwork, etc., were covered in these stories. That child grew up to have children that loved superhero comics too. One child couldn't read the words but spent time studying each page. His father noticed and offered to read the stories and teach him to read. The child said, "No thanks, Dad. The pictures tell the story." And then, one day, he told his father he was curious about reading the stories as written. This child became an avid reader overall. May 2015, Superhero Support was started by its founder (Brian Korzec), supporting community activities and causes as the comic book superhero Green Arrow. He continued this work and networking for more employment and recruiting superhero cosplayers interested in regularly supporting community causes. Superhero Support now has over 30 volunteers raising spirits, awareness, and funds for local children's hospitals, orphanages, libraries, volunteer fire companies, museums, nonprofits, community associations, celebratory parades, and retailers holding charitable campaigns. We guarantee that volunteers meet standards to work with children. This demand gave us great power, which comic book fans are taught means with great power comes great responsibility. Superhero Support was incorporated as a nonprofit in February 2020 and was granted 501c3 status in August 2021. We use the term causeplayers instead of cosplayers to show that the cause comes before the costume.
Since early childhood, stories of comic book superheroes have inspired Brian because he understood that superheroes were most powerful when they tapped into their humanity and highest values. As an adult, he taught Change Management and Adult Learning at Johns Hopkins University graduate studies and consulted with the private and public sectors. While consulting with Health and Human Services in New Mexico, he served as a board member for Las Cumbres Community Services in Santa Fe. While developing a leadership development program for the Arizona state government, he was introduced to causeplaying and served as an officer with Justice League Arizona. Experiencing how hopeful and empowered children and adults became when interacting with Superhero causeplayers inspired Brian to create Superhero Support serving Central Maryland after returning to Baltimore in 2015. The demand for Superhero Support led to forming a 501c3 nonprofit. Brian is the Founder and currently serves as President of the Board and Executive Director. He also works with a local nonprofit, Wellness and Recovery Center for people living with mental health issues at Prologue, Inc.
David is a nonprofit executive who began his career at the age of 14 selling balloons at the Philadelphia Zoo. Much of his professional career was with the National Aquarium in Baltimore where he held various positions, including 15 years as the chief executive. Since leaving the Aquarium in 2011, he has worked for the Ocean Conservancy on ocean trash issues and has served as the Interim Executive Director for the FreeState Legal Project and No More Stolen Childhoods in Baltimore. He also works as an interviewer for the Mental Health Association of Maryland. He is serving as the Board Secretary.
Jo knows that efficient adults are successful adults. In her 20 years as an Efficiency Expert and Adult Educator, she has guided adults and organizations in the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean to achieve their goals. Jo is socially responsible and has served as a community interpreter/translator and cause-player—a big supporter of Superhero Support's mission and success. She is serving as the Board Treasurer.
After a 40-year professional career that has included public service, the ministry, and the nonprofit sector, Steve Stahley retired in 2019 after relocating to West Virginia. He stays busy providing pro-bono ministerial services and keeping up with the family. Steve has been an enthusiastic supporter of Superhero Support from the organization's earliest days and serves on the Board of Directors.
Katina Rae Stapleton believes that all of us have the potential to be super. In her day job as an education research analyst for the federal government, she is dedicated to helping students achieve their full potential. She is especially passionate about helping young people of diverse backgrounds succeed in the world and championing people's rights with disabilities. Katina reads many genres but particularly loves science fiction, fantasy, comics, and lit-RPG because they spark her imagination. Katina loves reading and sets aside time to catch up on her favorite fictional worlds every day. She even has a little free library to share her love of reading with her neighbors. Katina joined the Board of Superhero Support in 2022 and is “super” excited to support the causeplayers as a sidekick. On occasion, you may even see her “suit-up” as Valerie the Librarian, the original Spiderwoman, or Moon Girl.
Dee is a security professional whose mission is to protect and keep order. He loves making people laugh and smile, which makes it a breeze for this Spidey to swoop in and make you his friend. Like a Spidey, Dee’s journey has been swinging from Vancouver, BC, to Hong Kong to your friendly neighborhood, Spider-man in Maryland.
“Being a “role model” for kids to look up to is such a great feeling, and connecting with them through the Spider-Man lens is and will always be one of the best things I enjoy most.”
Betty-Jean has been a member of Superhero Support since 2019. She is an alumnus of the University of Alabama. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with all of her furry and non-furry animals and is quite the animal advocate. Learning different languages is another hobby of Betty-Jean's. She is currently fluent in American Sign Language, Greek, and Mandarin Chinese and is now learning Cantonese. Being a part of Superhero Support, she hopes to continue to guide and give smiles to all!
"Super-heroes have always been my extraordinary escape from reality, and to be able to help children meet their idols in real-life is a blessing."
Otto has been a Superhero Support member since December 2019. He has been an active community member in youth activities since the mid-2000s. He has been involved in activities such as a volunteer soccer coach for elementary-age kids and a youth martial arts instructor at the local community center. He has also been an active member of the Boy Scouts of America (Order of the Arrow, assistant scoutmaster, and den leader).
Crystal is a proud 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force, where she served her country and her community, earning the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. Even after her retirement, she continues to volunteer with various organizations around Maryland, bringing hope and smiles. She recently graduated with honors from the University of Maryland Global campus, where she earned her degrees in Human Resources and Psychology, in the hopes of being able to serve the needs of the people in the future.
Doug has been artistic and creative all his life. He has many hobbies such as filmmaking, special make-up effects, and piano playing. But nothing compares to putting a smile on people's faces, especially children.
"When I put on the Bat Suit, it magically brings joy to people, and that is what it is all about."
Desmond is an amateur photographer passionate about capturing all aspects of the beauty of wandering life. He's an organizational leader in the Department of Defense with a background in process automation and machine learning. Fond of hiking, target shooting, comic books, outrageously colorful attire, and food so spicy it'll melt your face off, he lives life "Out Loud" constantly. Forever Carlyle (from the comic book series Lazarus) and Squirrel Girl are his favorite superheroes.
"I am a huge fan of cosplay and cosplayers. Their creativity brings joy and delight to those they interact with. Meeting the causeplayers of superhero support showed another dimension of the hobby: one that can heal, lift spirits, and inspire. I'm eager to be a part of that myself."
As a non-profit organization of superhero causeplayers,
we strengthen our community by supporting nonprofit fundraising; community-building events; and visiting ill / injured Superhero fans of all ages.
Our services are available
in-person or virtually
throughout Central Maryland,
and virtually beyond.
Are you passionate about Superhero Support?
You can help
behind the scenes!
We are accepting applications for passionate volunteer board members; superhero causeplayers; and event support staff, like photographers and set-up sidekicks, as well as administrative and tech support, social media, and more.
Spreading our mission through word-of-mouth; volunteering time; and
are vital to helping us
achieve our mission.
Your support is critical!