Leaving a legacy, brick by brick

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Coard Foundation and other nonprofits like it are offering a special opportunity for people to leave a legacy in the town of Boykins that honors loved, respected and admired individuals and organizations.

The way people can leave this legacy is by contributing to the Boykins Blessing Bricks Memorial Walkway, which is set to become a permanent part of the town in Buck Lassiter Mini Park.

The 5-foot wide walkway will stem from the sidewalk on Virginia Avenue and extend 39 feet into the mini park, encircling a flagpole that is located 32 feet away from the sidewalk.

People are invited to order a brick and dedicate it to the person or group of their choice. The bricks will be engraved to reflect this choice.

Eric Coard, president of The Coard Foundation, said the idea for the memorial walkway came out of one of the foundation’s meetings.

“I just loved the idea,” he said. “There’s been things like this that have been done before, obviously, otherwise there wouldn’t be a website called BricksRUs. So there are other nonprofits that do things like this, but we all liked the idea, and I thought that this would be an opportunity for us to join forces with other nonprofits.”

He noted that The Coard Foundation is a small nonprofit, with only five people on its board. The organization’s mission is to promote and inspire a community committed to ongoing service, charity and giving. 

“Every month we just do these random acts of kindness,” he said. “We have the Boykins Blessing Box where we provide food and necessities, speak to people on a daily basis. We have a refrigerator out on Main Street that we just fill up with canned food on a daily basis, and it’s just for anybody and everybody who might need a meal or a little bit of help with their groceries.

“And then every month, we try to help out an individual or a family that might need a little help,” he continued. “They might have lost their job or have somebody who’s sick or they might have lost a loved one.”

He said the foundation also does things for the community, and that is how it views the Blessing Bricks project.

“I honestly didn’t think we’d be able to sell enough on our own in order to cover the cost, because it’s kind of a big memorial,” Coard said, speaking on behalf of The Coard Foundation, so he reached out to other organizations, like Boykins Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Boykins Parks and Recreation and other participating local nonprofits and churches to recruit their help, and they answered the call.

People purchasing bricks will have a say not only in who or what their brick honors through its engraving but also in who their funds benefit.

“What I’ve decided to do is give anybody the opportunity to choose whether or not they want that brick to benefit the firehouse or to benefit their local church or to benefit the Lions Club or The Coard Foundation or the Masonic Lodge,” Coard said. “At the end of the day, we’re just going to look at whatever the net profit is after the cost of building the memorial and then we’re going to use a formula to split it up between the different organizations that participate and/or whatever somebody chose for that brick to benefit.”

Coard said his hope has been for the walkway to be built this summer.

“That’s still my hope,” he added, “but we’ve got to sell a lot more bricks.”

Those interested in purchasing a brick, which are available in two sizes with different engraving options, can visit www.Coard.com and click on the “Blessing Bricks” tab. People can also call Coard at 757-535-6759, or call their local firefighter or pick up an order form at the town office.