What Is This All About?

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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Short Story


Andy Smeltzer is running in his first half marathon to help raise money for the Beavers Family. Due to a lapse in insurance coverage, and two surgeries, their medical bills are reaching the $100,000 mark. All of the proceeds donated will go toward reducing this medical debt.

Al and Phyllis Beavers are a symbol of all that is good in Fairfield County. Through their dedication and effort:

***American Legion Post 11 Baseball Program has given young men the opportunity to grow physically and mentally.

***Beavers Field has become one of the best amateur facilities in the State of Ohio.

Donations for the Beavers Family Medical Account can be made:

1) At any Fairfield Federal Savings & Loan


2) By mailing a check made out to the Beavers Family Medical Account to: Run for the Beavers Family, 425 Marquette Dr. NE, Lancaster, Ohio 43130

Questions and comments can be sent to post11memories@yahoo.com

Please note: In order to ensure that the benefit received by the Beavers Family does not cause further hardship, your contribution is not tax deductible.

The Long Story

My name is Andy Smeltzer and I am a teacher at Lancaster High School, the sports director for WFCO 90.9FM and a member of First Baptist Church Lancaster. Over the past few years I have been running in order to lose weight and stay in shape. After competing in several 5K races I felt I needed to challenge myself physically, mentally and spiritually by running a longer race. In talking with a friend of mine (Jason Smith) I was encouraged to sign up for the half marathon associated with the Columbus Marathon in Ohio, and then began thinking and praying about running the race for a higher purpose. After much thought and prayer, I was brought back to the medical situations that have arisen over the past year to Phyllis Beavers.

Many of you know that Phyllis has battled breast cancer. One of the devastating side-effects of battling a serious disease is an increase in insurance premiums and this was true with the Beavers’. They made the difficult decision to cancel Phyllis’ coverage in 2009 and scheduled a knee replacement surgery to occur before the coverage expired. Complications arose from the surgery and required a follow up surgery (after the insurance had lapsed) in order to save Phyllis’ leg. Then in June, Phyllis fell and required an additional surgery to her other leg. Hospital bills are mounting and nearing the $100,000 mark.

Al and Phyllis Beavers are a symbol of all that is good in Fairfield County. Much of their lives have been spent serving the youth of Fairfield County through American Legion Baseball. Beavers’ Field is a facility of such high esteem that it brings commerce to our region through the sponsorship of large tournaments and league play. Al and Phyllis’ strong commitment to the community, to each other and to their family is something to be admired. They also mean a great deal to me and my family. My father spent many evenings pushing dirt around to create the foundation of the playing surface at Beavers Field. My brother and I played American Legion Post 11 Baseball with Al as our coach. I later had the privilege of coaching the inaugural Junior Legion team and then being an assistant coach for Post 11 where I was able to develop a better appreciation for all of the dedication and effort Al and Phyllis exemplified in helping young men. Three major things concerning their service to the community stand out in my mind and challenge me. First, their service has been focused on helping other individuals grow. Second, their service has been marked with distinction as Al and Phyllis have tried to provide the best environment possible. Third, their service has been consistent for so many years touching countless lives.

So here are a number of ways you can help honor Al and Phyllis. First, be in prayer for me that my faith in God would grow stronger during my training for the half marathon. Second, I am asking that you would prayerfully consider sponsoring me for the half marathon by either making a contribution or by making a per mile pledge for the 13 mile run where all of the proceeds would go towards reducing Phyllis’s medical bills. Please email me to get a submission form. You can also make a contribution to the Beavers Family Medical Account at any Fairfield Federal Savings & Loan in Lancaster. Third, I am also seeking written memories of both Beaver's Field and Post 11 baseball as a tribute to Al & Phyllis Beavers. Please email your funny stories, reports of exciting games, tales of lasting friendship and a picture that goes along with your memory to post11memories@yahoo.com. My wife and I will add these stories to a blog we created at www.post11memories.blogspot.com. By doing so, we can all visit the site in order to reminisce about the glory days and add comments to previous posts. In the end, the blog will be a fitting tribute to two wonderful people that have sacrificed so much to make American Legion Baseball a wonderful part of the Fairfield County community. Lastly, the initial plans are underway to have a reunion get together for people that are interested on the evening of Sunday October18th after the race. More information concerning the event will be distributed and posted at a later date.

On behalf of the Beavers Family, I want to extend my deepest appreciation and thankfulness in your willingness to help out in any manner possible. I realize these are difficult financial times for many people; however, if everyone is able to help out in some small manner, an amazing outpouring of love will come about.

To God be the Glory,

Andy Smeltzer