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Gary Walls is a man with a mission: Nothing too big, just working to raise thousands of dollars to help people change their lives, that’s all.
Walls is the co-founder and past president of Shelby County Community Charities, an organization that he and some others started in 1996 to raise money for families who have children or young adults in serious need of surgeries they can’t afford.
Walls said they got the effort under way to help a young boy with a brain tumor back in 1996. Since then, SCCC has held several charitable benefits, and in 2011 they included one that has enabled one person to get a stem-cell procedures that hopefully would restore her eyesight and another to recover from a severe brain injury.
Walls is also active in the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, is chair of the Shelby County Human Right Commission and now is serving as executive director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.
A Shelby County resident since 1980, he is a retired regional sales manager for Abbott Laboratories. He said when he retired and became interested in real estate, that’s when he became interested in charitable work. He said his most rewarding project to date is in the area of baby health.
He is the executive director of the Kentucky Perinatal Association, a non-profit group that represents health-care providers, consumers and organizations with a common purpose in maternal and infant health-care issues.
“Our mission is to improve the health status of high-risk babies and mothers,” he said. “We work closely with the March of Dimes and doctors and nurses across the state. Children have no voice, and so that’s what we’re here for. That is what has compelled me to do this, and has carried me through the years.”
Walls was a guiding force getting some neonatal nurseries established in Kentucky over the past 20 years.
“It has been one of the rewarding things in my life,” he said.