MARION, S.C. — The Marion County Healthcare Foundation presented the Marion County Library System with a $500,000 donation to aid its expansion and renovation project.
Marion County Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Pete Mazzaroni along with board of directors Dianne Herrington, Beth Klauber and Sen. Kent Williams delivered the new grant funding that was part of the quarterly cycle awarded during the year.
“We recognize the important role that libraries play in communities,” Mazzaroni said. “This historical Carnegie library is so important to Marion and Marion County. We thought it was important that we supported this.”
Sen. Williams said the ongoing project and staff has been patient raising funds.
“This has been a blessing for this county because this donation fills a lot of the financial gaps,” Williams said.
Marion County voters approved extending the 1-cent capital sales tax in 2018. The library expansion project receives $1.5 million from the tax.
“That was a big hit and we were able to get them $250,000 in the state appropriations bill this year,” Williams said. “This is an asset for this county. You have to understand a lot people don’t have access to broadband so a lot of people still utilize our library. Our children participate in the summer reading program and our adults have to come here to do business or applying for a job.”
Marion County Library System Director Holly E. Cockfield said she was happy to have the support.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “We’re just so thankful to the Marion County Healthcare Foundation for believing in the library system and what we are to do. Saving this building and this organization is worth and it means so much to us that they are willing to help us out.”
Cockfield said the additional funds will help meet the community need for an up-to-date facility.
“We want to give the community the building it deserves,” she said. “It’s really going to make a huge difference for our patrons.”
The library has a Dream Like a Queen tea party and book signing set for Aug. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with local author Cynthia O. Ford.