Saturday 3 December 2016

Kevin Wall

Variety Club volunteer brought sunshine to lives of many children

Published 23/10/2011 | 05:00

Kevin Wall, who died on October 9, held the honorary title of chief barker of the Variety Club of Ireland for his work with the organisation.

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Kevin was born in north Dublin on June 3, 1932 and later married his childhood sweetheart Betty. They had three children, Lisa, Ken and Kathy, and he spent his recent years enjoying his wonderful grandchildren Ryan, Zara, Lauren, Jack, Ella, Kian and Max.

His career started in Premier Tailors in Dublin and he later entered the world of ladies fashion as an agent, then manufacturer and finally joining his wife Betty in their own retail fashion business.

His love of all sports was well known. He took an active interest in soccer, golf and tennis and was an avid Manchester United fan -- making numerous trips to Old Trafford with his son Ken.

Kevin and Betty joined the Variety Club in 1966 and gave 45 years of their lives on a voluntary basis to the children's charity. Following his retirement Kevin became more active in his charity work.

Betty and himself devoted the last 12 years promoting Variety to further the needs of the sick and disadvantaged children in Ireland -- he served the last few years as chief barker (president).

Kevin's love of children made Betty and himself the driving force for the Variety Club. Kevin brought the first Liberty Swing for disabled children into Ireland in April 2009 which has transformed the lives of hundreds of wheelchair-bound children.

His happiest day was when he could present the keys of a new bus to a school for children with special needs. This he did numerous times and we all know these buses as Sunshine Coaches. Some of the schools and charities that benefited were: Irish Autism Action, St Michael's House, Kare, Abacas, St Joseph's Centre for the Visually Impaired and St Mary's School for the Deaf, Cabra.

When you see these Sunshine Coaches around Ireland, it serves as a reminder of what this truly altruistic, gentle man brought to the lives of so many people. Variety International also acknowledged his work with the Sunshine Coach Award.

Through his wife Betty and all of the proud members of the Variety Club of Ireland, his legacy can but sustain and flourish -- an ideal testament to a man of humility and kindness.

Through his charitable work he has had an impact on the lives of thousands of children and their families around the country.

Sunday Independent

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