victories about

About Victories


Victories supports men through weekend and group programs that lead to deeper self-awareness, greater self-confidence, stronger relationships, and greater connection to themselves and community. Our weekends and peer support groups are designed by professionals, attended by licensed professionals, and based on widely accepted clinical principles that help men find peace and balance in their lives.


What is Victories?

Victories offers a safe and empowering place for men to discover more about themselves, to connect with other men, and to build the meaningful life they deserve. We welcome all men, wherever they are on their journey. We invite men to consider our weekend programs as a step on their path of personal growth.

Victories supports a healthy masculinity that is affirming and constructive. Through vulnerability, compassion, communication, and trust, we can make our families, our communities, our world, a happy, safe, and vibrant space so that each and every person can thrive.

For more than 30 years, Victories has helped men explore a more authentic, empathetic, satisfying, and optimistic understanding of what it means to be a man.

All Board Members and Weekend Leaders are bound by our Service Personnel Handbook and Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy

A Brief History

Victories of the Heart was founded in 1985 by Bob Mark, Ph.D. and Buddy Portugal, LCSW with their first program, The Men’s Room. Over the next twenty years, that program evolved into the BreakThrough Weekend, and additional weekends, such as the Wisdom Years and the Shadow Weekend, were developed by Buddy, Bob, and Weekend Leaders. In 2003, Victories was incorporated in Illinois as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and is led by a Board of Directors and a committed community of volunteers. Victories now offers over ten different weekends a year, in addition to trainings, workshops, and events.


Talking about my feelings is not something I wanted to ever do in private, let alone with strangers. However, I allowed myself to open up for the first time in years, and I made myself vulnerable. I got to see a side of myself that had been dormant for over a decade. Besides the incredible impact this had on me personally, it was also fulfilling to be part of a group in which I could partake in helping others. The experience helped me resolve to live more fully and helped me to have more appreciation for what I have in my life. I’m grateful that I took the plunge.

Board of Directors Weekend Leaders

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