About the

Dare Greatly Foundation

Our Mission

We recognize and support young people who embody good character, strong morals, honesty, integrity, respect, and a passion for civic duty, volunteering, and helping others.

A Letter from Tanner's Dad

I never thought in a million years that I would be writing this letter. I mean, parents aren’t supposed to bury their kids – yet here I am without a son to talk to, hug, grow older with, watch him be a father to his son Finn, and carry on conversations with. It’s a tough loss to explain – all I can say is it hurts – deeply.

In the wake of all this tragedy, an idea was spawned. One that would honor Tanner and carry on his legacy. Something that would embody his personality when he was here with us. You see, Tanner was a true giver. He gave everything he had to people – some he knew well and others he barely knew. And at times, although it might have even been to his detriment, he gave anyway. Always selflessly giving to others.

I am proud of Tanner and what he stood for. I thought I knew Tanner so well since we talked every day. But he was so humble (and it came so naturally to him) that he would never mention the people he would invite into his life on a daily basis. People from all walks of life. Tanner was the most nonprejudicial person I have ever known. He treated all people like they were family – it didn’t matter what race, color, or creed, what mistakes you made in the past – he would befriend you regardless. It was a true gift – one I wish I possessed. I learned so much more about Tanner after his passing, and it fills me with such pride.

The foundation is my way of carrying on Tanner’s legacy. A way to thank Tanner for the man he was and how he treated people. To reward those who live their life by making a difference in others’ lives. To give selflessly. To live compassionately. And above all else, never judge someone else because you never know what that person has going on in their own life or what challenges they may be facing.

In closing, this isn’t what I expected – to have to carry on a legacy for my son, Tanner – but here I am. Proud as can be of the person, man, and father he became. I am ready to carry on his legacy and hope it inspires others to live a life with meaning and purpose.

I will forever miss my “best bud,” my best friend, and my only son.

Dare Greatly,

Matt Romanos (Tanner’s Dad)


Basic training graduation – Airman Tanner Romanos

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Meet Our Advisory Board

Our board members work on a volunteer basis and bring in diverse perspectives. They offer strategic counsel to guide our work and make recommendations on key issues.

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