November 2011

Mayor Sulka: November 2011

Author: Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Bluffton Families Inspire International Sports Initiative

There is plenty of negativity going around these days, so I thought a “feel good” story might be just the medicine. I met this family over the summer while our son Michael was at football practice at Bluffton High School. This is an example of how a group of people can make a positive difference in a community and around the world.

Scott Beebe, a USC graduate and former long snapper for the gamecock football team, moved to this area several years ago from Texas where he earned a Master of Divinity. He and his wife Ashley have found a way to merge the background of sports with God’s passion for all nations in the unsuspecting country of Nigeria.
While continuing to work in the local marketplace, since 2006, the Beebes have been traveling and leading teams of professionals to Nigeria multiple times per year through H.E.L.P. (helpwestafrica.org). Locals who have participated include Tom Conner (education), Alen Ward and Chris Gay (engineering), Chris Long (public relations), Carmen Marflak (nurse), Mike Szynski (audiologist), Michael Beaumont and Nick Kennicott (pastors).

This past September, Beebe took former football coach and local business owner Gerrick Taylor to Nigeria to help develop a sports camp in Egbe (Kogi State, Nigeria). Taylor implemented the first-ever American football program in the area through a series of six camps. Together with others from around the country, they are working to implement a sports program that will carry a variety of messages (spiritual, health, education, engineering, etc.) throughout “the bush,” in and around Egbe, Nigeria. You can see a recap of their trip at http://vimeo.com/29472730.

The Beebes are now working (as are many other families in the Lowcountry) through another challenge—adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. The legions of paperwork have been signed and sent; now the 10-14 month waiting process begins.

If you think he isn’t busy enough, Beebe and a group of men are also broadcasting the home football games for Bluffton High School on Justin.tv/blufftonbobcats. They have really brought the community together from far away by this gesture, and we are all grateful for them.

We always talk about the next generation, and I am very proud that these families are living in Bluffton and will be our future leaders.

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