CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Markus Wheaton can no longer go out to eat without wondering if his friends in Macedonia have enough to eat that night. Lance Mitchell is hoping the quality of water has improved since he was there. “Sometimes, he said, “they didn’t have running water at all.”
These Oregon State Beavers were never concerned with such things before their life altering trip earlier this summer as part of the “Beavers without Borders” program, which is spear-headed by former OSU Receiver, Taylor Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh has convinced many of this former teammates and athletes from other sports to accompany him on these over-seas missions, where they will spend a few weeks helping to build homes, and supply other necessities which are often at a premium. Kavanaugh has documented all of his journeys for a film, which will debut in August on the OSU Campus.
“The one thing I’ve noticed,” he said, “is that they all come back with new friends. Usually, college athletes stick to their teammates, but these guys (and women) have become inseparable.”
Most of the kids who have gone to either Macedonia, or Guatemala as they did during spring break had never before left the country. It was an eye opening experience, one they wouldn’t trade for anything. “It was amazing to see in their eyes, that we were truly making a difference,” said Mary Claire Brenner of the OSU Softball team. Basketball standout Roberto Nelson added, “I got a kiss from the Mom (whose house they were building) on the last night and I nearly broke down right there.”
Every image, and every detail will remain fresh in their minds forever. Time robs us of most of our memories, but it won’t stand a chance when the members of the Beavers without Borders traveling parties recall their trips. Football player Dominic Glover was proud to say, “…we changed their lives,”
And in the process, had their own lives changed as well.