Grand Strand Miracle League Expansion

Growth in sporting fields other than baseball is anticipated for the Grand Strand Miracle League over the next year.  This is the league that – for the last decade – has been teaching handicapped kids to play baseball. But now it wants more.  And plans are thus underway to build a new park near Pepper Geddings Recreation Center in Myrtle Beach, which will house equipment especially for these kids, with a few items for kids without disabilities.  In other words, the focus will be on the kids with handicaps, but it will be built in an extremely aesthetically-pleasing way.

Giving Thanks

Last weekend, a Pig and Pearl barbecue and roast was held as a way of giving thanks for all the support the League has received over the last decade, and to unveil its vision for the coming decade (the park included). The dinner – charged at $75 a head to raise money for the venture – hosted around 100 of the League’s “best friends.”  Plans were unveiled on the day and all who saw them agreed it looks like it is going to be a great project, extremely colorful and inviting for all kids.

The Miracle of Prayer


Sometimes, when it looks like all is lost for good and nothing can possibly get worse, even those who do not believe in any kind of power might end up turning to a God to pray for some hope.  Well, that wasn’t quite the case with Jim Haggerty, but there was definitely a Higher Power looking out for him.  Haggerty – a religious man with a passion for fixing up cars – suddenly found himself under two tons of steel; a car tilted off the rack when he pulled on the wrench. 

It started by him getting under the car, checking the transmission and the oil in it, putting on a wrench and then once he pulled on it, the car tilted and he was underneath.  His son saw it happen who told his wife who called 911 and when the paramedics arrived, no-one thought Jim would make it.

When they found him he was purple and swollen from the chest up.  At best, he would survive with severe brain damage.  In a CBN news article, his wife Nina recalled, “I began praying and I realized that this was pretty major. I really wanted to have some backup prayer support, and that I am a member of The 700 Club, I thought, first of all, I just needed to get on the phone and call,” Nina said.  

Jim was sedated for 10 days and felt God with him during that time.  Miraculously, he only spent 19 days in hospital, followed by a month of rehab.  He amazed the doctors – he recovered so well and so quickly.  It truly was a miracle.  Now he says, he is completely healed and has gone back to working with cars and caring for his animals.

Compassion of Virginians

A recent story shed light on how compassionate and caring a whole slew of the community in north-central Virginia can be.  On a family outing last week, 9-year-old autistic Robbie Wood Jr. vanished in Hanover County.  The boy – with no verbal skills – would not even realize he was in some kind of danger. 

That was the bad news. The good news was what came after.  The area was teeming with volunteers – over a thousand – who were trained at Kings Dominion and dropped off in the large search area to help locate Wood.  A further 500 joined the first group.

According to an account from ABC News, “carrying walking sticks and wearing yellow reflective jackets, the searchers began lining up before dawn to be taken to the forest where they were to look for Robert Wood, Jr. ‘I have an 11 year old, and if the situation were reversed, I would hope people would be out helping me look for her,’ said a man named Don who stood in line for hours in the parking lot of an amusement park to take part in the effort to find the boy.”

It is hoped that the boy will be found soon.  In the meantime, it really says a lot about the goodness of the people in north-central Virginia, setting aside much of their time to volunteer to help.  Not just tens of people, it’s now thousands of people desperate to bring little Robbie home.

Argentinian Dog Saves Newborn


A newborn baby was recently abandoned in Argentina.  But thanks to a dog, she was saved.  She was a mom herself; she had already given birth to her own babes (puppies).  Clearly this dog knew the baby was in trouble so she brought her over to her bed and took care of her like she did with her own puppies.  Thereafter, the baby’s cries were heard by a neighbor who alerted authorities. Police rescued the newborn baby boy and said it was because of the dog that he was still alive – the dog who had shielded, protected and kept him warm.  Thankfully, the baby boy did not suffer any major health problems.

Shoemark Says ‘I Do’

After Many Proposals, It’s Shoemark Who’s Surprised

He kept asking for her hand in marriage.  It wasn’t exactly like Cherie Butler was refusing to  wed David Shoemark, she just wasn’t ready when he was asking and thus kept replying, “one day.”  Perhaps it was because she wanted to be the one in charge.  And that’s exactly what she did.  Butler got a group of about 40 friends and family to join up at Pollard Park, Blenheim, and witness their wedding…the wedding Shoemark had no idea was happening until he arrived on the scene, expecting to partake in a family picnic.

Shoemark began to get somewhat suspicious that something other than a simple picnic in the park was going on when he saw some people photographing him and a few people who was not expecting to be at the small family picnic.

The marriage ceremony took place at the park’s rhododendron garden.  Guest Jenny Andrews officiated and the other officials were one bridesmaid and a best man.  Following the ceremony, a wedding reception was held at the Blenheim Bowling Club.

So Cherie Butler is now Mrs. Cherie Shoemark.  And David Shoemark is delighted!