While there are exceptions to any rule, few things in life are free. In fact, most of the things we desire do not come our way without varying degrees of effort. Sometimes the effort is minimal, but other times it can take us a ways outside our comfort zone.
Steve Mason left his home in Florida in 1980 to attend college and play football at Appalachian State University. There at ASU a young woman, Tammy Gambill, caught his eye. As their relationship developed, the time came for Tammy to take Steve home to meet her family in Sparta. Not too long into the visit, Tammy’s dad, Tam, suggested that Steve ride with him to check on Tam’s cattle.
They soon found a cow bawling and when they checked, they found her newborn calf dead. Tam had Steve throw the dead calf in the back of the truck and they drove back to the gate. Back at the gate, Tam told Steve to take the calf and skin it out, telling Steve he would be back shortly.
To that point the biggest critter Steve had skinned was a rabbit or squirrel. Although he was a little uncomfortable with his assigned task, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work. In a while, Tam returned with Holstein calf. They drove back to the cow. As Tam tied the hide from the dead calf to the new one, he explained that sometimes the familiar scent of the hide would help the cow accept the new calf. In this case it worked. Even now, Steve isn’t exactly sure what took place in that pasture – whether skinning the calf was an actual farm need or a test. Either way, Steve was welcomed into the Gambill’s home.
Steve and Tammy have been married for almost 30 years. They have four children: Rachel and husband, Graham, are missionaries with a church plant, Grace City Church, in Las Vegas, Nevada; twins, Rebekah and Rene, who will graduate from Liberty University this May; and son, James who is a freshman at the University of Charleston, West Virginia.
Steve spent the last 30 years in the auto industry. He recently retired as a general manager from Manheim, Inc. in Fredricksburg, Virginia. The Manheim group is the world’s largest auto auction by volume.
Steve and Tammy have a farm (they have Christmas trees and plan to raise poultry), and they are putting the final touches on a home they are building. They attend Grace Community Church and their faith is central in their lives. Steve is an avid hunter and outdoorsman.
Manheim allowed Steve to develop a long list of management and sales skills. His degree work at ASU was in outdoor recreation with a minor in business management. In an effort to give back to the Alleghany community, beginning on April 1st, Steve will utilize those skills as director of the Alleghany Wellness Center, Inc. (AWCI).
He moves into this role with three broad, interrelated goals. First, he wants all the ACWI staff to engage with the community to ensure that the services offered match what the community needs. Second, he feels strongly that those services should be accessible to everyone in the county. Finally, he wants to promote the ACWI services so that the people of the county fully understand the entirety of what is available through the Center.
Steve also has a desire to continue and expand on the collaborative work with organizations such as the Alleghany Council on Aging.
Fitness and wellness are sometime tough sells. It takes concentrated effort to overcome lifestyle choices that have a negative effort on our health. As Steve points out, it is a matter of setting your sights on those things you view as important. These seemingly minor choices often pay tremendous, long-term dividends. Steve made one of those decisions in an Alleghany pasture many years ago and it changed his life.
Visit the Alleghany Wellness Center at 508 Collins Road, Sparta, NC or give them a call at 336-372-2944
One thought on “Steve Mason and the Alleghany Wellness Center”
Steve & Tammy, Welcome back to Alleghany! Steve, thank you for serving our county in this way. We are so happy to have you both, and your family here. Dale, another fine article about very important happenings here. Thank you for writing! Ron & Chris Davis