William Brewer Bradshaw was clearly ordained by God to be our firstborn! Growing up, he was the quintessential big brother to Thomas and Collins, always looking out for them. Even today, he continues to seek their greater good. I will never forget the first year I homeschooled Brewer. He was in the 5th grade and he seemed really bored, just making B’s on his tests. One day I asked him how he thought he could improve his performance and he asked if he could just read the book instead of having to listen to me tell him what was in it. After that, he made straight A’s and I discovered that he’s a visual learner instead of auditory. Brewer has also been a joy to watch on the golf course. While he may not have the prettiest golf swing, he has an innate ability to get the ball in the hole! After high school, Brewer enrolled at Clemson University where he was a member of the Varsity Men’s Golf Team from 2008-2012. He also made the President’s List his first year at Clemson and was Academic All ACC three of his four years there. Brewer graduated from Clemson in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Minor in Sociology and moved to Washington, DC where he worked as a media specialist for National Media. With 2012 being an election year, Brewer learned a great deal about the business of politics. As exciting as a career in Washington can be, the opportunity to join our family business proved the best opportunity for Brewer’s entrepreneurial spirit and in May of 2013, he joined Thrift Brothers Inc., working in property management, commercial development and grading. Needless to say, this mom is very happy to have her firstborn a little closer to home.
Thomas Samuel Bradshaw is one of the most disciplined people I’ve ever known. He’s also one of the most compassionate; in part because he’s learned firsthand that life isn’t fair. When Thomas was 5, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Despite the challenges this has created in his life, Thomas has allowed God to use it for good, to mature him and give him a tender heart for others in need. I have never seen Thomas question God about why he was stricken with this disease. Instead, he has accepted it and has chosen to depend on God to sustain him as he strives for excellence in all that he does.
This disease has given our entire family a sensitively to people that I don’t think we would otherwise have. Thomas really enjoys reaching out to kids so he can encourage them. Not long ago, he had dinner with a boy who has serious health problems, to encourage him to continue to persevere in the journey God has planned for him. Without question, I am humbled and honored to be his mom, and so thankful for what God is accomplishing in his life.
Thomas is currently a senior at Clemson University where he is majoring in Business Marketing. He is also on the Clemson Varsity Golf Team. Thomas is known for his beautiful golf swing and people often comment on it when he hits balls on the range and golf course. His heart’s desire is to turn pro after he graduates from college so he can fulfill his lifelong dream of being a professional golfer on the PGA Tour. Without a doubt, we all believe he will make it. Thomas is quick to give God the glory for his talent and successes. He looks forward to what God has planned for him because he has placed all of his trust in the God Who created him, saying, “God has blessed me so much and I am so thankful.”
Marcia Collins Bradshaw is named for my mother (Collins) and sister (Marcia). Even though those who know her declare she’s a “Mini-Me,” she has a great sense of humor like my sister, loves to laugh and enjoy life. She is also very much like my mom, the Rock, as she is affectionately known, because Collins is strong and resolute.
Collins graduated in 2011 from AC Flora High school, a year earlier than expected. She received a scholarship to play golf for the University of Georgia women’s golf team, which she did during her freshman and sophomore years.
Collins was also elected to represent the University of Georgia on the 2013 SEC Women’s Golf Community Service Team based on her community service efforts.
Collins is currently on track to graduate in 2015 after 4 ½ years at UGA. She is focused intensely on her major of Broadcast Journalism with hopes of a career in sports broadcasting. She is also working on her first book! Collins is a social butterfly, is very outgoing, and is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
Over the course of her life, Collins has endured her share of adversity, including bullying from classmates when she was younger. When she was 5 years old and an aspiring gymnast, Collins broke her femur and tibia and was in a cast to her hip. That ended her quest to one day be on the Olympic Dream Team and she set her sights on golf. Although she’s petite, she’s also known as a speed walker on the golf course and for her fast play. When being recruited for college, Alabama coach Mic Potter said he had never seen a girl sprint on the fairway!
One of my fondest memories of Collins was when she was a little girl. We were at church and someone walked up to her and asked, “Collins, what would you like to be when you grow up?” Without hesitating, she replied, “Famous!” Then she looked straight up to me and said, “Mom, how do you get to be famous?” Ha-ha! I think all little girls have dreams when they are young of being famous or making their mark in the world when they grow up. There is no doubt in my mind that Collins will make her mark in this world! With her strong sense of self and close relationship with Christ, it will be an absolute joy to watch and see how God uses her.