ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart and his wife, Mary Beth, took advantage of a break in the practice schedule to give back to the community.
Smart held a luncheon in Stegeman Coliseum for The Kirby Smart Family Foundation members and benefactors on Wednesday.
The event drew several university dignitaries, as well as the Georgia football players on hand to support the charitable cause.
— Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) August 8, 2018
“This is a special family event for us, it’s our first ever opportunity to give publicly,” said Smart, who took time to get pictures with all of the guests.
“Any time you have the opportunity to give back, you certainly want to do that.”
Indeed, Smart’s work with Camp Sunshine has been well-documented over his several years of association.
Smart, with a new $49 million contract, continues to spread his wealth.
Devon Gales, the former Southern University football player paralyzed in a 2015 game against the Bulldogs, was among those in attendance on Wednesday.
“Devon is part of our family now, (and) we’ve taken an opportunity to give back to his family so they can have a home, and they are going to be able to have a home,” Smart said. “Whit Marshall did a tremendous thing and gave a lo , and now they are going to be able to build his home, and we wanted to help contribute to that as well.”
Marshall, a former Georgia football player (class of 96), donated a lot for the Gales family to build a home, and now Smart’s foundation will have some involvement.
Mary Beth Smart explained the foundation’s mission statement, revealing there are still opportunities for several charities to become involved.
“We’ve got a few special causes that mean a lot to us; Kirby’s brother [Karl[ had cancer as a young child so we’re seeking out some organizations that deal with childhood cancer specifically,” Mary Beth Smart said. “But our mission statement is helping children and families in need. Most of those are local, within the state of Georgia, and in our community here.”
Kirby Smart said the response from the Bulldogs’ community has been impressive, and he welcomes all fans to get involved in a cause that’s very close to his heart.
“DawgNation has been supportive of everything we’ve done, as athletes and as parents and families,” Smart said. “We have a website, The Kirby Smart Family Foundation, where anyone can apply for those monies, and put an application in and that’s part of us having this event to make sure that we make that money.”
An autographed football is included for a small ($50) fee, Smart said.
“They can send in through the website,” Smart said, “and that money goes directly to our foundation.”
Georgia football’s Kirby and Mary Beth Smart