County Executive Neuhaus presents Rick Walls with August’s Citizen of the Month Award for his support of local military
Town of Woodbury resident helps organize Iron Chef BBQ Competition and Towns 4 Troops Fundraisers
*Press Release from Orange County Government
Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has recognized Rick Walls, a Town of Woodbury resident, as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of August.
Walls helped organize the Marines vs. Firefighters Iron Chef BBQ contest four years ago. That event led to the creation of Towns 4 Troops, which supports Orange County’s local active duty military members and their families with a variety of events and donations.
“Rick has worked tirelessly as an advocate for our service members,” Neuhaus said. “His passion for serving these men and women is evident in everything he does. Rick’s hard work and dedication has raised awareness about our service members and the challenges they face. Rick proudly works behind the scenes, but he deserves this recognition.”
Under Walls’ guidance, the Marines vs. Firefighters Iron Chef has grown to include law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Army and local ambulance services, raising approximately $20,000 for active duty military members and their families since its inception. According to Walls, Towns 4 Troops assists local military with social needs.
Towns 4 Troops sponsors barbecues, a variety of Holiday dinners, Easter egg hunts and Monday Night Football events for troops. The non-profit also prepares care packages for service members that are deployed, and arranges travel assistance and childcare. Towns 4 Troops has played an integral role in supporting the families of the U.S. Marine Corps who were killed in the KC-130T Hercules crash in Mississippi last month.
“We have a wonderful core group that is dedicated to this mission and I couldn’t do this without them,” Walls, 62, said. “I couldn’t serve as a young man because I was in a car accident, so this is how I serve. I just don’t think some people realize the sacrifices that our servicemen and servicewomen make. They miss being home for the holidays and watching their children grow up. We just support them in any way that we can.”
Walls thanked County Executive Neuhaus for his support of the Marines vs. Firefighters Iron Chef BBQ contest, Towns 4 Troops and other veterans causes in Orange County.
“Steve has assisted us with whatever we need from the beginning,” Walls said. “He always wants to know what projects we have going on and how he can help. We appreciate the County Executive’s support of our program.”
Walls is also a supporter of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program at West Point, which supports the overall quality of single soldier’s lives. He worked as a manager with the U.S. Postal Service, retiring after a 35-year career. Walls is now a tour guide at West Point and serves as the Town of Woodbury’s Program Director of Adult Services. He has been a volunteer firefighter for 44 years, including the last seven with Harriman Engine Company.
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or email@example.com.