For Shelly Church, walking is more than a way to stay physically fit. It’s also a way to honor her son, Kyle. Kyle was especially devoted to the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk in the Tampa Bay region. He participated nine times and even served as the walk’s grand marshal one year – raising thousands of dollars. In 2004, the year before he died at age 18, Kyle personally raised $22,000. Though he succumbed to his disease, he remains well represented in spirit thanks to Shelly’s commitment to the cause.
In 2014, Shelly persuaded Paul Reilly, CEO of Raymond James Financial, to take on the leadership of the Heart Walk in the Tampa Bay region while she continued her efforts in Naples. Shelly recorded a powerful video message to employees to capture their interest, attention and commitment to walk. Not only did Raymond James associates raise over $275,000 for AHA, but hundreds walked. Paul’s leadership broke a new record for dollars raised in the area, $3.1 million, making the Tampa Bay Heart Walk one of the top five in the nation. Shelly has made helping the AHA her life’s work, channeling her leadership and passion to make a difference in her community.
Shelly earned Honorable Mention for the 2015 Community Leadership Awards.
Senior Vice President of Investments, Church & Box Planning Group of Raymond James
American Heart Association SW Florida Chapter