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Derek M. Walls is a former Marine and the owner of Brevard Extreme Sports, in Brevard, Florida.
For the past nine years, Derek M. Walls has been the owner of Brevard Extreme Sports. The sports park features paintball, skateboarding, and BMX riding. It's aimed at teenagers, kids, as well as adults. The park is open to both male and female athletes.
Brevard Extreme Sports is open to the public seven days a week and on weekends the three paintball fields are open for play Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on weekdays by appointment only. The sports park is open rain or shine. The only time it shuts down is if the weather is truly inclement and dangerous for people to play in, such as during lightning storms.
To keep everyone safe, Brevard Extreme Sports has an age minimum of eight for paintballers and any age for skating and BMX. All players need to sign a waiver before playing or riding, stating that they understand the risks involved with paintball and extreme sports. The waiver is kept on file for a year, so players only need to sign a new form at the start of the year. Safety equipment such as helmets and pads are recommended for biking and skateboarding.
Along with being entrepreneur, Derek M. Walls finds time in his busy schedule for a few hobbies and charitable activities. He's an avid reader and a big fan of historical literature and true history. One of his favorite authors is Clive Cussler, a writer who has landed on the New York Times bestseller list seventeen times.
Walls' other hobbies include restoring old cars and military vehicles and traveling. He has yet to outgrow his sense of adventure. One his favorite ways to travel is on his Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle.
Derek M. Walls is a former member of the Marines. As a former Marine, he understands the need to do good and to help those around him. In 1997, Walls founded the Florida Volunteer Search and Rescue Corps (SAR Corps).
SAR Corps was inspired by his desire to help the community that he grew up in. He served as part of the national search and rescue response force, which helped families track down and find loved ones who had gone missing. Walls was inspired to create an adult and youth-oriented version of SAR (a 501C3 Non-profit company) by the joy he saw in the families he was able to help. The SAR Corps teaches young people search and rescue techniques as well as military techniques so that they are able to help volunteers on the search and rescue force. Training for SAR Corps takes place at Walls' sports complex and paintball center on Merritt Island.
Along with training young teenagers for search and rescue, SAR Corps also teaches them to reach out to their community. For 14 Christmas seasons from 1998 to 2011 the SAR Corps participated in the Brevard County Toys for Tots Drive. Derek M. Walls served as the coordinator for the countywide drive for those years.
Toys for Tots has a long history, and like Derek M. Walls, is connected to the Marines. The charity was started by the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves in 1947. The first Toys for Tots drive, led by then Major Bill Hendricks, USCR, collected 5,000 toys for needy children in the Los Angeles area. Due to the success of the initial toy drive, the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve took on the project and made it a nationwide effort the next year.
A number of well-known personalities have lent their support to Toys for Tots over its history. Walt Disney himself designed the program's choo-choo train logo, which is still in use today. Popular Disney characters have appeared in promotions for the toy drives. A number of actors and other figures have served as spokespeople for the charity, including John Wayne, Tim Allen and First Lady Barbara Bush.
At the beginning, and until 1979, the Marines collected both new and used toys to give to children at Christmas. From 1980 onwards, the organization changed its policy and began accepting only new toys as donations. Initially, members of the Marine Corps would refurbish and fix up the used toys. Starting in 1980, an increased amount of responsibility meant they no longer had the time to dedicate to refreshing used toys.
In 1991, Toys for Tots created a foundation, which operates as a charity and is able to raise money to support the program. The Toys for Tots program has been going strong since it was created over 60 years ago. The program has collected more than 102 million toys to date.
Nine years ago, Derek M. Walls fulfill the dreams of many entrepreneurs when he opened what was then known as Combat Zone Paintball. In 2011, the park became known as Brevard Extreme Sports Park. It's located on Merritt Island on ten acres of land.
The sports park offers a number of different activities for people, including paintball and airsoft, BMX and skateboarding, and 18-hole mini golf. Walls was inspired to open the park because he noted that the activities is supports promote the same type of skills he honed during his time in the Marines. Paintball and other extreme sports encourage young people to work together and to develop critical thinking skills.
BMX racing and skateboarding help young people learn to persevere and keep trying. Although the sports park at one time held competitions for BMX racing, it no longer does. Derek M. Walls felt that the competitions encouraged unsportsmanlike behavior among participants, which was not the type of atmosphere he wanted to encourage at the park. The goal of the park is to encourage riders to train to be their best, not to focus on being better than others.
Brevard Extreme Sports caters to both experienced and beginner players. People are able to rent paintball equipment from the sports park when they sign up to play. The sports park also sells paintballs in varying degrees of quality. Premium paintballs are top-of-line and guaranteed to be be excellent. First-run paintballs are of a slightly lower quality, but still good. Second-run paintballs might have a few duds in the batch, but also come at a much lower price.
Paintball guns are also available for rent, notes Derek M. Walls. The rental guns include a mask, hopper and tank of compressed air. If a person brings his own gun to the sports park, an air tank isn't included in the price of admission.
Although Walls has what can be described as a "fun" job, he has also made room for a number of hobbies and leisure time activities in his life. One of his favorite hobbies has been to restore old vehicles. A zeal for rebuilding runs in his family and Walls notes that he got his passion for restoration from his grandfather.
Over the years, Walls has had the opportunity to restore a number of military vehicles. His collection of restored vehicles includes a Chevy Flatbed truck and a Kaiser Deuce and a Half from 1963. He also has a Kaiser from 1968. Walls has been able to show off his restorations at the Vietnam Veterans of Brevard County Traveling Vietnam Wall in Florida.
Walls' sense of adventure has been seen in his preferred way of traveling, on a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle. He's had the opportunity to take his bike out on a number of day trips across the state of Florida over the years. Traveling by motorcycle allowed him to see the terrain around in him a way that wouldn't be possible if he traveled by any other way. When he traveled by bike, Derek M. Walls enjoyed stopping off at the many amusement parks across the state of Florida.
The future looks bright for Derek M. Walls and Brevard Extreme Sports. Paintball continues to be a popular activity for people both young and old. Extreme sports such as BMX and skateboarding are also gaining popularity, thanks to events such as the X-games and major extreme sports athletes gaining worldwide fame and popularity.
Brevard Extreme Sports Park will continue to adapt and evolve as the time goes on. The park changes its paintball fields from time to time, so that return players can get a change of scenery and don't become bored with what's on offer. The sports park also recently expanded the skating and biking area and now includes areas for scooters and inline skates. As new forms of sport become popular, it expects to make way for those as well.
On the philanthropy front, Derek M. Walls plans to continue to serve his community and help those in need in every way that he can. As new opportunities to give to others arise, he hopes to be able to participate in them. Walls is always on the lookout for new ways to support his community and serve others.
In his personal life, Walls hopes to be able to continue to enjoy his hobbies and to perhaps take on some new ones. Along with restoring vehicles and traveling across Florida, he enjoys kicking back with a good book. He hopes that the future will mean more time for reading and learning new things about history and life in general.
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