Shrine Bowl Parade Grand Marshals Named

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Bucky Walker, chairman of the Shrine Bowl Board of Governors, announced today that Jimmy and Marsha Gibbs, a Spartanburg couple known for their philanthropy throughout the community, will serve as the grand marshals for the Shrine Bowl Parade set for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, in downtown Spartanburg.

The parade will celebrate the 69th annual playing of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, the prestigious high school all-star football game set to be played at 1 p.m. that day at Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College. Bands, along with both walking and motorized Shrine units, and the Shrine Bowl King and Queen will combine to make it a pageant full of color and sound. The parade route down Church Street from Kennedy Street will end at the stadium.

"We feel very fortunate to have Jimmy and Marsha Gibbs as major supporters of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, and to have them as our grand marshals for this year's parade," Walker said. "They have continually shown their commitment to their community, and we are proud that they have chosen to support the Shrine Bowl as well."

The Gibbs, who have been married for 30 years, have given their time, energy and resources to numerous Spartanburg projects and causes. Jimmy Gibbs is founder of Gibbs International, a privately owned company that buys and sells textile equipment, machinery and property worldwide, and Risk-Tech, a full-service environmental health services provider. He also is involved in a number of property redevelopment projects, including the conversion of the former Beaumont Mill property on North Pine Street for new medical offices.

He is a member of the board of trustees at Wofford College and a former member of the boards of Converse College, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Foundation and BB&T bank. In 1993, he was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and in 1997, he was awarded an honorary doctor laws degree from Wofford. He received the Mobile Meals Business of the Year Award in 2001.

In 2003, Gibbs received the Wofford College Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for community service, and he was awarded the Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award from the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, he received the Gibbs Regional Cancer Center Humanitarian Award, the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award, and the couple was The Salvation Army Toast of the Town honorees.

Marsha Gibbs is a trustee at Converse College and is on the boards of the United Way of the Piedmont, Mobile Meals, the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Foundation, and advisory boards for the National Bank of South Carolina and the Spartanburg County Foundation's Citizens Scholars program.

Together, the Gibbs were recognized in 2002 as the S.C. School for the Deaf and Blind's Philanthropists of the Year and received the Red Cross Henri Dunant Society distinction. They were named the 1998 Philanthropists of the Year by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. They provided the lead gift to build Spartanburg's world-class Gibbs Cancer Center at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

One of their current passions is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a literary initiative that mails a book a month to pre-school children. Their start-up gift represented $1 for each child under the age of 5 living in Spartanburg County, and Marsha Gibbs continues to lead the fundraising for this United Way program.

"The Shrine Bowl Parade since its beginning with the Shrine Bowl Game has brought smiles to hundreds of thousands of boys and girls, of all ages," Joe Sessoms, director of publicity for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, says. "It is truly one of the greatest shows on earth."

The Shrine Bowl week activities include these events:

Thursday, Dec. 15 – Players Awards Banquet, 7 p.m., Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park; tickets are $35 per person. Featured speaker, University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier.

Friday, Dec. 16 – Spartanburg Touchdown/Tipoff Club Players and Coaches Luncheon, noon, Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park; ticket are $25 per person. Featured speakers: USC coach Steve Spurrier, Clemson University football coach Tommy Bowden and Wofford College football coach Mike Ayers.

Friday, Dec. 16 – Shrine Bowl Fan Fest, 3-8 p.m., Barnet Park; free admission. Featuring food vendors, clowns, face painting, fun, games, music, fireworks and more.

Saturday, Dec. 17 – Shrine Bowl Parade, 10:30 a.m., Church Street from Kennedy Street to Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College. Featuring bands, Shrine units and more.

Saturday, Dec. 17 – 69th annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, 1 p.m., Gibbs Stadium, Wofford College; tickets $20 per person for reserved section, $10 per person general admission. To order tickets, go to

Partnering with the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas on these events are Team Spartanburg, the sports council of the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the City of Spartanburg.

Team Spartanburg's mission is to promote Spartanburg as a destination for sports events; it recruits new events as well as provide assistance to existing sports events. Team Spartanburg is supported by its partners:

Champions – Coca-Cola, JM Smith Corp., Wachovia, City of Spartanburg MVPs – Herald-Journal/Celebrate Community, Radisson Hotel & Suites, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Verizon Wireless, Wofford College All-Stars – Ogletree Deakins, Showcase Marketing, Shred First, Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park, Spartanburg Methodist College, University of South Carolina Upstate

For information about the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, go to or contact the Shrine Bowl at 800-648-2695 or 1-803-547-0300 – Fax 803-547-9545. For information about Team Spartanburg, go to or contact Jules Bryant at (864) 594-5051 or or Brooke Holder at (864) 594-5050 or

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