AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - There’s an old saying: Don’t curse the darkness when you can light a candle.
Dumas High School and Principal Brett Beesley may not have a solution to the Coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic, but they aren’t exactly cursing the darkness either.
“Anytime we can light this up, and like I said, it has nothing to do with sports, but more so with hope and with assurance that we will return back to normal,” said Dumas High School Football Head Coach Aaron Dunnam.
What Dunnam is referring to, is lighting up Dumas Football Stadium every Monday through Friday, from 8-9 pm. The reason is simple in his mind. He and Beesley want their kids to know they haven’t forgotten about them during this off period of school.
Dunnam believes that sport, whether it involves a ball, or a field, should be an instrument of positive change. Whether it’s leading his team to an undefeated regular season or developing a team that goes out of its way to make a dream come true for a younger child, sport will always be a factor in his community. So when he heard Beesley’s interesting idea, he tackled the project head on.
“It didn’t take me long when he came up with the idea. I mean, I was in my car heading up here to turn on the lights as he spoke," said Dunnam.
While turning on some lights at a stadium isn’t helping anyone physically recover from the Coronavirus, turning on the bright lights at a stadium does help with symbolize what Dumas High School’s message to the community.
“You know, I just wanted to give the kids a symbol of hope,” said Beesley. “That we as educators, we’re thinking about them, and that we love them, and that there’s gonna be better days on the other side of this.”
What started out as that simple message to the community, has now grown into a state-wide challenge for other school to do the same.
“Just in the last day or so, Coach Phillips, Ricky Phillips, our Athletic Director, reached out to me and said ‘have you heard of this’," said Waco Gatesville High School Football Coach Luke Howard. “I had seen a few schools doing it and said yeah, I had seen it on social media and he said ‘what do you think about it,' and I said ‘man, it sounds like a great idea.’"
And Like all great ideas, this one has expanded. Schools like Gruver, Hereford, Waco’s Gatesville and many others have all joined the #BeTheLight movement... All thanks to the compassion Beesley showed to his Dumas community.
“It’s a little bit personal to me, because I’ve got a senior daughter that’s going though this stuff,” Dunnam said. “There’s no other man I’d rather have leading us, making the decisions for not only all of our students here, but also my daughter. I wouldn’t have any other man do it besides Mr. Beesley.”