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Couple opening family fun center in Martinsburg

By John McVey

The Journal

MARTINSBURG -- The BE-Hive: A Family Inspiration Place is the kind of place Robin and Mike Schaeffer wish their parents knew about when they were kids.

"It's a family fun center and incorporates great life principles -- it's the right thing to do for the community," Robin said recently at the future home of BE-Hive LLC in downtown Martinsburg.

The Schaeffers are putting the finishing touches on their center and plan to open in mid-October. They are applying for nonprofit tax status for their company.

Robin explained that the meaning of the name comes from "be," which means how to be in life, and "hive," which is a home -- comfortable and cozy.

The BE-Hive will be open to families for events that feature various activities, such as music and dance presentations, magic and puppet shows, arts and crafts demonstrations, she said.

"Each event will be centered around one word," Mike said. "The song or dance presentations, for example, will be coordinated to focus on a theme."

The showcased word would be one of 20 words that make up the great life principles, Robin said.

"The words are like rocket fuel for life," she said. "The opposite words are not rocket fuel -- they're like rocks."

The principles have been gleaned from motivational books, education, church and other areas, Robin said.

Donations are welcome. Make checks payable to BE-Hive LLC and mail to 516 W. John St., Martinsburg, WV 25401.

"These are things we've collected from wise people -- there's nothing original here," she said. "We are not a church. This is not training. These are great principles."

The goal is to get parents or caretakers of children to learn the principles through the entertaining programs and to apply the principles at home with their children, the Schaeffers said.

Additionally, they are having BE-Town constructed, a three-dimensional main street that will be housed in the BE-Hive. BE-Town will have a bank where good relationships can be deposited; a candy store full of inspirational goodies; a bakery with cupcakes filled with inspiration; and other storefronts with other items.

And it will all be for free. There will be no charge for families to attend the events.

For now, the Schaeffers are paying for everything themselves.

"We're not in competition with anyone and there's no salaries," Robin said.

"There's no profit motive," Mike added.

"That's very freeing," Robin said.

They hope to get the community and individuals to donate their time and energy toward the goals of the center as well as obtain grants and donations to operate.

She is recently retired from condominium and property management in Washington, D.C., and he is semi-retired from the aerospace industry.

They have lived in Martinsburg since 1995.

"We're crazy about Martinsburg -- we love the history and there's so much potential," Robin said. "We want to promote downtown to people in the suburbs of Martinsburg to come into town for the great shops. We want to attract families. Martinsburg is the place to be."


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