Challenged Athletes of West Virginia president Bob Spencer and David Begg’s widow, Karen, unveil the new sign dedicating “The Dave Begg Memorial Building,” which houses the Adaptive Sports Center at Silver Creek. Begg was instrumental in expanding the program and served as director until his death in June 2018. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

In 1983, challenged athlete and Valley Head resident David Begg joined the Challenged Athletes of West Virginia Adaptive Sports Program at Silver Creek Resort. By 1996, Begg filed for 501(c)3 non-profit status which helped the center grow from a small shack to the ski chalet that it is now. 

Begg dedicated his time to ensuring that all those who were interested in learning to ski and who wanted to enjoy the slopes at Silver Creek and Snowshoe would be allowed to do so. The program works with individuals with developmental issues, para-and quadriplegics and amputees of all ages.

The program suffered a great loss when Begg passed away in June 2018. His successor, Carol Woody, knew she had big shoes to fill, and wanted to make sure Begg’s legacy continued.

Last Saturday, the CAWV board, Woody, volunteers and program participants gathered at the center for a dedication ceremony at which the building was named the David Begg Memorial Building.

CAWV president Bob Spencer welcomed all those in attendance and shared his own experience with the program, and his respect for Begg.

“This [program] was his dream – I believe – for as long as I’ve known him,” Spencer said. “The first time I came up here to ski through the program, it was in 1987.  Dave loved this program. He worked hard at it. Sometimes, he was a little hard to get along with, but that’s okay. He was still a good friend, and I believe that he would help anybody. That’s the reason why we want to dedicate this building to him.”

Begg’s family – wife Karen and two daughters, Kaitlyn and Sarah – were in attendance and Sarah spoke on behalf of the family, sharing their appreciation for the honor.

“I know he would be very honored,” Sarah said. “He would probably be saying, ‘you all are nuts.’ Although, he would be saying it in his way with lots of curse words and expletives. I know deep down he would be greatly honored. He put a lot of time and effort and love into this place and into you guys, and into his family up here.

“We are thankful that you think so highly of him to dedicate this place to him and to honor his memory and his legacy,” she continued. “Not disabled sports, but adaptive sports – of taking the abilities of people and not labeling them, but finding their inner strength and helping them to find the strength within themselves. Thank you all so much for that. And in the immortal words of David Begg, ‘that’s all I’ve got to say about that.’”

The group quickly gathered outside in the chilly weather to watch as Karen and Spencer officially unveiled the sign naming the building in Begg’s honor.

After a quick photo op, they returned to the warmth of the indoors for a reception.