Bainbridge, Coach Smart come together at Kirby Smart Foundation Giving Day Luncheon

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mary Beth and Kirby Smart have always exhibited the focus and work ethic required to become champions on and off the field.  They bring that same passion to the opportunity to help children and families who are facing adversity.  Working to be champions and helping those in need in Coach Smart’s hometown of Bainbridge, Georgia , is exactly what happened last Wednesday, Aug. 8.

In response to the Smart family’s desire to give back to Kirby’s hometown through an organization that is making a tremendous impact, representatives of Friends Ministries (Friendship House, Still Waters, The Refinery) made the trip to Athens this past Wednesday to attend the first annual Kirby Smart Foundation Giving Day Luncheon.

“Kirby and I have been so blessed; the University of Georgia has blessed us so much, and we’re just thankful to have this opportunity to give back,” Mary Beth said. Stegeman Coliseum, where the Smarts hosted a lunch for a gathering of about 100 friends, benefactors and beneficiaries of the Kirby  Family Foundation.

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It was a chance for everyone to hug and laugh and smile together, pose for photos and even get an autograph from a group of Bulldog football players that were on hand for the event. even though it was the team’s first off day of the preseason.

The intense, laser-focused coach that we all see on the sideline wasn’t present at this event. Here was the warm and relaxed Kirby, seemingly without a care in the world except to share a few moments with people who mean a lot to him.

Speaking to the media before lunch was served, Kirby, his voice operating at about 30 percent capacity after five days of practice, said people in his and Mary Beth’s positions have a chance and a responsibility to help those in need.

“I feel like we’re just kind of getting our feet wet and it is growing, and we’re really getting excited about that,” Mary Beth said when asked about future plans for the foundation. “I’m excited about where it is now and anything we can do to improve on it in the future will be tremendous”.