By Becky Billingsley
Monday, July 23, 2012, Myrtle Beach – Jimmy Miller is known around Myrtle Beach as the chef who owns Jimmyz Original Hibachi House, but the restaurateur also has a philanthropic soccer goal.
Not goal, as in the frame with a net soccer balls are kicked into, but a goal of starting a children’s soccer program.
Miller’s wife, Kenza Miller, grew up in a tiny Moroccan town called Fkih Ben Salah. Recently the couple visited there, and they learned that although the town’s children love playing soccer, there is no organized program.
“So I’m starting a kids’ soccer foundation,” Miller said recently at his restaurant. “I’m going to get it in the schools so any kid can play.”
The chef doesn’t have the kind of money where he can cut a check for that, so he thought about how to fund the foundation.
During the trip to Morocco he also learned that part of the world has a severe ambulance shortage, and they sell for big bucks. When he got back to Myrtle Beach, Miller went online and searched for used ambulances. He found one in New Jersey, bought it and drove it home.
“I’m going to ship it over there and sell it,” he said. “Then that money can start the foundation.”
But he doesn’t want to waste the space inside the ambulance, and he is asking for help filling it with soccer equipment. The chef figures there must be Grand Strand families with used soccer gear tucked away in closets, garages or attics that children have outgrown.
Anything would help, he says. Shoes, shorts, shirts, pads, balls – even an old goal someone might not use any longer, if it can be broken down into pieces that will fit inside the ambulance.