Amy Bell was known as a tenacious horsewoman, a seasoned traveler, an accomplished hunter, a dedicated philanthropist, and a “best friend” to many. She touched lives across the world. She loved horses, dogs, her family and friends, and she loved the Lord. She lived life with no handlebars, and she loved everyone to the ends of the earth. Her sudden death on May 16, 2014 left a void in the lives of her family and friends worldwide.
Amy was the youngest of three children of Ellen and Larry Bell of Midland, TX. Amy was a life-member of Safari Club International, along with her father, Larry, and brothers, Matthew and Brian. Amy was also a Life Member of the American Quarter Horse Association, and she actively showed cutting horses and reined cow horses. At her passing, Amy was the manager of the Comanche Springs Ranch and Kalpowar Quarter Horses, both Bell family companies.
The Comanche Springs Ranch in Weatherford, TX had been Amy’s home for several years. It was on this ranch where she experienced some of her greatest joys, and it is here where she transformed from a little girl with all kinds of hopes and dreams, into a woman of faith, friends and a calling. But being a ranch manger was not Amy’s “calling.” Living out her “cowgirl dream,” raising and showing horses, hunting, traveling, and loving and serving her neighbor–especially children in need–that was her calling. This kind and generous young woman loved life, and she lived it to the fullest.
Philanthropy was a quiet but important part of Amy’s life. In her early twenties, she established the Amy Doris Bell Fund at the Permian Basin Area Foundation. The foundation’s primary focus was to support agencies that provided education and wellness for children worldwide. She helped fund numerous projects with Child Fund International, Salvation Army, Feed the Children, and she sponsored a beloved child in Zambia.
Amy was intentional about finding ways to help those she encountered. She loved to engage with children in laughter and games and extend her love for them in specific ways. On numerous trips to Africa, she left “love gifts” with friends to help support schools, clinics and an orphanage. One of her love gifts has led to the establishment of the Amy Bell Center for Children in Africa through an orphanage she supported in Cradock, South Africa. That Center will help children in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Uganda.
Amy loved to travel and took the lead on numerous Bell family hunting and sightseeing trips. She traveled to Africa several times, which included trips to Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. She also made hunting and sightseeing trips to Spain and New Zealand. On each of those adventures, Amy made close friends and, along with all of her family, always looked for opportunities to “Pay It Forward” to those less fortunate.
The Bell family is deeply committed to continuing the legacy Amy created by promoting her “Pay It Forward” spirit throughout the world. Through the Bell family’s participation and membership in SCI, they became aware of SCI Foundation’s SafariCare “Blue Bag” program. During the annual SCI Convention in Las Vegas in February, Amy’s father, Larry, met with the SCI Foundation’s Executive Director Bob Benson to discuss ways that the Bells might work with the group to promote the Safari-Care program in Amy’s memory. The result was the “Bell Family Blue Bag Program in Memory of Amy.” The Bells have agreed to an initial commitment for five years to the program in the interest of promoting the “Pay It Forward” spirit throughout the world in the name of the SCI Foundation and their humanitarian support program.
“Hunters rank among the most caring and giving souls on earth,” said Larry Bell. He added, “They care about people, they care about the conservation of animals and they care about leaving the world a better place than they found it. We hope that by spreading the word about this Blue Bag program in a more deliberate way, we can bring more attention to this pattern of giving where hunters are routinely Paying It Forward to those less fortunate all over the world.”
It is with great joy that we announce this new partnership between the Bell family and the SCI Foundation by establishing the Bell Family “Pay It Forward” Blue Bag program in memory of Amy D. Bell. It is our firm belief that the Bells’ significant contribution and this renewed emphasis to this long-standing foundation program will help to continue their daughter Amy’s legacy of “Paying It Forward,” greatly expanding the program’s reach to those less fortunate throughout the world through the generosity and support of the SCI hunting family.
Go to www.safariclubfoundation.org to learn how you can participate and support the program.