20 for 20: Gary Walters (2011)
To celebrate our 20th anniversary of Lakeland News, we’re taking a look back at some of the memorable local stories we’ve covered over the years. We’re calling it 20 For 20 – twenty stories in all, one for each of the twenty years we’ve been on the air with Lakeland News.
We’ve certainly introduced you to many interesting people throughout the last 20 years, but there has been no one quite like Brainerd’s Gary Walters. Beginning in 2003, Walters has chosen one wacky adventure each year to raise money and awareness for children in his own community, and over those 15 years, he has raised more than $250,000 for kids. Tonight, we take a look back at the year 2011 and one of Walters’ most ambitious challenges: a coast-to-coast, 3,000-plus mile bike ride that would take 54 days. Our reporter Becky Parker brought us that story.
Since 2011, Walters has continued to complete wacky adventures each year. Last year, he rode a wacky wheel from Brainerd to Bemidji and back, and in 2015, he completed an ironman triathlon in Tempe, Arizona. This year, he’s teaming up with Confidence Learning Center executive director Jeff Olson in a 9-month adventure to get healthy together. Walters is trying to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year, and Olson is trying to lose 50 pounds. You can learn more about their efforts and see all the adventures Walters has completed at thatguyadventures.org.
Becky Parker, the reporter from that story, is currently a news reporter for WDAY-TV in Fargo, ND.