COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For more than 30 years, one man has been responsible for a staple of Gamecock football on the field at Williams-Brice Stadium. Before any University of South Carolina football game is played, Eddie Dunning is masterfully completing a work of art.
"You just can't come out here and kind of guess at it," Dunning said as he outlined the iconic Gamecock and block letter C in the center of the field.
"It started back in 1984," Dunning said. "I can't tell you the exact date it was."
For 33 years, Dunning has painted the famous logo, but he won't take the credit if you ask him about his talent.
"This is the Lord's work, not my work, it's His work," Dunning said. "He's done used my body to do his work on Earth."
From his art to his heart, Dunning's passion on the field is only equal to his desire to help those off the field.
"Several years ago Eddie told me that he needed to take some time off once a week to go get some food and distribute to people that may not have enough," Clark Cox, assistant athletic director for sports turf and landscaping at the University of South Carolina.
On his own time and at his own expense, Dunning has picks up food from Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia and transports it to his hometown of Cameron in Calhoun County each week.
"Harvest Hope Food Bank serves 20 counties, Calhoun is one of them," Pat Black, chairman of the Calhoun County Development Commission. "Through the efforts of Eddie over the past 15 years, we've been able to distribute food to the folks who need it in a rural area like Calhoun County."
Harvest Hope says Eddie's distributed more than 216,000 tons of food to date through his home church of Brown Chapel AME.
"He is full of compassion for other people and what they are experiencing," Denise Holland, CEO of Harvest Hope, said. "He remembers how he grew up and he wants to give back."
That's what it was natural for Matt Mungo to surprise Eddie on the field while he was doing what he loves with the news that he's our latest Community Builder because of all the love he shows others.
But again, Eddie wouldn't take the credit.
"I can't take all the credit because the gift came from up above," Dunning said. "I know it came from Upstairs. The Lord said, 'I've got to get the food to my people.'"
Eddie also paints the field at Founders Park. He actually recently retired from USC Athletics full-time but has stayed on as a temporary worker to help continue to train his nephew to eventually take over his role.
On the days you may see him on the field at Williams-Brice Stadium, may it serve as a beautiful reminder that much like the art he creates, Eddie Dunning, is a living masterpiece.