Beaufort unites, celebrates racial harmony at community bowling center

lh26By Mariah Robinson | You’re given a choice of outlook – positive or negative. Which do you choose? When Love House Community Bowling Center was vandalized with racial graffiti last weekend, owner Pastor Randy Roberts chose the positive. Seeing an “opportunity for God to show up,” Pastor Randy organized a night of free bowling and fun for the community and shared the details on Facebook.

In true Beaufort style, the community united in full force on Wednesday night. With only 4 days to plan the night of unity, community and fun, over 2,500 people showed up in support of the church and to celebrate unity in Beaufort.

Among the dozens of churches, businesses and organizations that came together to help out, folks from St. Johns Lutheran Church served up hot dogs and hamburgers; Fat Patties and Piggly Wiggly donated side dishes; It’s Only Fair food truck served up funnel cakes and State Rep. Shannon Erickson brought two huge cakes to top things off.

lh6The parking lot reached full capacity as throngs of community members young and old gathered to show their support in choosing the positive.

Mayor Billy Keyserling spoke about the beauty in diversity and the crowd cheered. Children ran in excitement to get their bowling shoes in preparation for the main event. Pastor Randy announced everyone would be assigned a team color and a lane.

The only colors not defining teams tonight were black and white.

lh5“Wonderful event. This community takes a situation that can be seen as a negative and turns it into a positive. We see people here tonight from all across the county, from every neighborhood, school, young and old. This is who we are and it makes me very proud to see people meeting new people and coming together,” Erickson said.

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As the sun began to set, the sky turned into a perfect pink backdrop for this scene of love. Racism and hate faded with the sun. There was no mentioning of the vandalism, politics or negativity. The purest sense of unity and acceptance of diversity radiated from Love House Community Bowling Center. People were simply people enjoying each other’s company knocking down bowling pins and inequality.

“I give God a big thumbs up for what He’s done tonight with the turnout. This is evidence that love is Beaufort strong,” Pastor Randy said.

On Wednesday night, Beaufort proved again what a wonderful community it truly is.

For more photos of Wednesday night’s racial unity event, visit our Photo Gallery.

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