"Empowering Emerging Filmmakers"

OIFF to Announce Attorney Willie Gary as the Man of the Year at Its Premier Film Festival

September 1, 2019

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“Willie Gary is the epitome of a ‘lawyer’s lawyer’ and has earned the moniker of ‘Giant Killer’ by receiving judgments in excess of $30 billion dollars,” said Helen B. Kim, chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. “Willie Gary has led a life outside the courtroom dedicated to charitable giving and mentorship through the creation of The Gary Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the lives of young people by stressing the importance of education and drug abstinence.”

His passion for improving the lives of young people is on display at his annual Christmas Carnival where the Gary Foundation provides toys and holiday cheer to hundreds of domestic and international children as they enjoy food, games, music, carnival rides, face painting, bungee jumping, rock climbing on walls, a photo booth and a visit with Santa Claus.

Gary’s vast appeal stems from his desire to be the best anda passionate work ethic he learned through his humble beginnings. One of 11 children of Turner and Mary Gary, Willie Gary was raised in migrant farming communities in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. His unwavering desire to earn a college education ultimately led him to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina where the all-state high school football player earned an athletic scholarship after being told there was no room for him on the team. Gary went on to become the co-captain of Shaw’s football team during the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons. He later served as Chairman of the Shaw University Board for many years having given millions of dollars to his alma mater and other HBCUs. More…