Often referred to as West Virginia South, Myrtle Beach, S.C. is a home-away-from-home to many in the Mountain State.
The oceanfront is a contrast to the rolling hills, but both locales seem to live and work in perfect harmony. That was evident this week as WVU football assistant coach Tony Gibson was in Myrtle Beach to represent those from his home state.
The Man, W.Va. native can relate to Mountaineer fans from across the state, but he certainly has a soft spot for those in the southern part of the state who have suffered from the flood disaster of last month.
Thousands were affected. Many had their entire lives taken away from them in one of the worst natural disasters in West Virginia history.
Gibson, along with others associated with West Virginia University, have pitched in to raise funds for the victims.
Because of the migration of many West Virginians to South Carolina, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league baseball team held a WV Night at TicketReturn.com Field.
Proceeds from a 50/50 raffle and a portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the flood victims.
"“You know the reason we wanted to do West Virginia night initially, there’s a lot of transplants from the area,” said Kristen Call, the Pelicans’ marketing director. “There are a lot of folks here that have friends and family back in West Virginia that have been affected and like you said, we do know what it means to be here and be flooded with the recent flooding last fall. Anytime you can pay that back and help someone else out, it’s a good thing.”"
Gibson, wearing a West Virginia Born and Raised t-shirt while throwing out the first pitch, has also coached in other states like Arizona and Pennsylvania. He knows, almost as much as anyone else, how important it is to be home.
Home for Gibson is West Virginia. Home for many in Myrtle Beach is West Virginia. Even in times of tragedy, like the terrible flooding, there is no place like home.
Even though people may move away, like Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban, West Virginia has a unique and special calling.
The Pelicans gained a lot of fans for their patronage and dedication to West Virginia. Other sports teams, like the Pittsburgh Pirates, have also held special drives to raise money for the flood victims.
It truly has been a nationwide effort to help West Virginia get back on its feet.