Willard is a dedicated supporter of charitable causes, particularly those relating to children and animals. Often taking time out from his busy schedule, Willard works with children in less privileged circumstances. Recognition of his work has led to an affiliation with the legendary illusionists Siegfried & Roy through MagiCares and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
To mark the official launch of the charity, MagiCares, to which Siegfried & Roy are Honorary Trustees, Willard was commissioned to replicate the famous duo within the eye of a needle with one of their white tigers. At an all star cast performance at the London Palladium, followed by a glittering evening at London’s prestigious Landmark Hotel in the presence of HRH Princess Michael of Kent, the founder of the charity, Paul Stone recalls;
‘When Siegfried and Roy saw themselves replicated within the eye of a sewing needle with one of their white tigers, their amazement at witnessing this incredible artistic achievement was similar to the disbelief experienced by the millions of audience members from around the world who for many years witnessed Siegfried & Roy’s awe inspiring illusions.’
Arguably, the pinnacle of recognition came when Willard was asked by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Charity Fund to replicate the great statesman in honour of his birthday. This sculpture was completed in May 2009 and was presented in July 2009 at Mr. Mandela's birthday celebrations.
The boy who was told he would amount to nothing is now the man that royalty, legendary artists and iconic statesmen, recognise in his own right.