Camp provides haven for at-risk kids.
At 7 feet tall, former NBA star Kevin Willis is best known for his prowess on the Atlanta Hawks basketball court. But the endeavor that makes the Buckhead resident an even brighter star is his commitment to the Atlanta Children’s Foundation Village, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Willis and his brother, Robert.
“Robert had a vision to give back to kids living in high crime areas and teens aging out of the foster care system,” Willis says. “In addition to the usual athletic fields, we built an enterprise center to teach skills kids can use in the business world.”
The brothers purchased 157 acres near Toccoa, Georgia, and built cabins to accommodate 60 kids ages 6 to 18. “Robert is the director and manages the camp and counselors,” Willis says. “We also count on volunteers from nonprofits and the YMCA, a partner organization. Referrals come from 15 Georgia counties. Willis attends for two weeks with his 13-year-old daughter, Jadis, who works at the camp.
“We grew up in Detroit and participated in activities at the YMCA,” Willis says. “We understand the value of helping others and giving back to a community that has been good to us.”
Willis is also busy in the fashion world. Because he has always struggled to find clothes that fit his tall frame, the textiles major at Michigan State University and his friend, Ralph Walker, founded a clothing line for men 6-foot-3 and over. Their new store, Willis & Walker, is located in the heart of Buckhead.
For more information: atlantachildren.org.
Simply Buckhead is an upscale lifestyle magazine focused on the best and brightest individuals, businesses and events in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Chamblee. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the magazine serves as the authority on who to know, what to do and where to go in the community, and its surroundings.