Sam Wyche is a well-known name in football circles, especially in upstate South Carolina and the Pickens County community, but he has a philanthropic side that residents can be part of beginning with high school football on Aug. 21.
Many are familiar with Wyche’s Superbowl appearance at the helm of the Cincinnati Bengals, his volunteered time to the Pickens High School football program, his days at Furman University or any number of football related details of his life.
But feeding the hungry might be the most important project he has ever participated in, teaming up with Meals on Wheels to provide food to those in need.
With the first game of the season on the horizon for the Easley Green Wave and Pickens Blue Flame, it is time for the eighth annual Meals on Wheels-Sam Wyche Food Fight Bowl.
Both teams will square off to kick off the 2015 campaign and although a win is important to both programs, the bigger goal is raising awareness and much needed resources to feed seniors in Pickens County.
When you speak with Wyche, you might be tempted to talk about his football career, something of which he is rightfully proud, but if given the chance he would much rather discuss the opportunity to improve the world around you. Charity is not a term with a negative connotation where he is concerned.
Instead, it represents the necessity of those who are able to find an empathetic feeling within themselves to extend a helping hand.
The Food Fight Bowl is one opportunity to do just that.
Eventually one of the schools will be named champion in the Food Drive following the close of fundraising on Oct. 29, but the sad part is that most will relegate that news to the back burner, more concerned with region standings and playoff possibilities.
The young men involved in each program deserve the right to compete at the highest level, but what about the rest — the students, faculty and fans? Will they be able to keep things in perspective?
Seniors in this county are in need — in need of everyday Joes and Janes to give just a little. While each small gift accumulates, that has been the problem — a failure to accumulate. What is even more important to remember is as the Baby Boom generation continues to grow to retirement age and beyond, that need will become even greater.
Football is a fabulous endeavor and is a deeply ingrained part of American society, but so are those who are our neighbors and friends.
So, attend the Food Fight Bowl if you can and enjoy some football. Just remember there is a chance to make a difference. With the community involved, there should be no reason this won’t be the biggest year yet for Meals on Wheels.
That should bring a smile to Sam Wyche’s face and to the faces of all those Meals on Wheels serves.