FRANKLIN, Va. – Prominent attorney and humanitarian Willie E. Gary recently served as the keynote speaker for Franklin County’s 15th Annual Community Leaders Breakfast in Franklin, Virginia. The breakfast was held in celebration of Black History Month, and was co-sponsored by the Franklin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paul D. Camp Community College, and the Franklin Department of Parks and Recreation.
Gary addressed an audience of over 300 business leaders, educators, legal professionals and clergy on the topic of “The Best is Yet to Come.”
Audience members listened attentively as Gary spoke about the importance of making a positive impact in our respective communities, and reaching back to assist the underserved and downtrodden. Gary also enthusiastically encouraged the adults assembled to provide job and internship opportunities for young boys and girls. He challenged everyone to play a small role in the success of future generations by equipping them with necessary resources and tools to succeed in life. Gary motivated the students that were in attendance to succeed against insurmountable odds and to never give up on their dreams.
“Many great men and women have sacrificed and fought hard for our civil rights,” said Gary. “Today, we celebrate those leaders and legends who have paved the way. Thanks to their foresight and perseverance, we have been afforded opportunities our grandparents only dreamed of having. While I am pleased that we have made substantial strides; I am also reminded of the fact that we have a long way to go,” continued Gary.
Gary, who is best known in legal circles as “The Giant Killer,” is noted for taking on some of America’s most powerful companies–winning billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. Also known for his philanthropic endeavors, he and his wife, Gloria Gary, founded The Gary Foundation, which provides scholarships to at-risk students who wish to attend college. The Garys have donated millions of dollars to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including $10 million to their alma mater Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.