Landrum Lions Club unveils new reading space in Landrum Library

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 17, 2017

Bob Walker and Gerald McCool presented a check for $8,000 to the Landrum Library. (photos by Michael O’Hearn)

Bob Walker and Gerald McCool presented a check for $8,000 to the Landrum Library. (photos by Michael O’Hearn)

Space to serve as “centennial legacy project” for Lions Clubs International’s 100th anniversary

LANDRUM – The Landrum Lion’s Club unveiled a new reading space in the center of the Landrum Library Thursday in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International.

According to Bob Walker, treasurer of the Landrum Lions Club, the renovation cost $11,242.50 and was funded by the Landrum Lions Club. The new space in the central part of the library includes adding new books, bookshelves and cabinets for both large print editions and new release books. New carpet was also installed in the area and bronze plaques commemorating the contribution were unveiled.

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In addition to the renovations, Walker and the Landrum Lions Club presented a check for $8,000 to the Landrum Library for the project.

Walker said the Landrum Lions Club is celebrating the club’s 58th anniversary as the club was established in 1959 with 36 members. Today, Walker said 18 members are  actively involved with the club.

“Melvin Jones was an insurance industry businessman in Chicago and he was concerned about other businessmen not doing anything to help their communities,” Walker explained. “He and a group of businessmen got together in June 1917 to establish the Lions Clubs International and the organization now has 1.4 million members in more than 40,000 clubs worldwide.”

At the unveiling, Walker quoted Jones and said “you can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.” He added the 100th anniversary celebration would be in Chicago in June.

Walker said five clubs were established in South Carolina five years after Lions Clubs International was founded in Chicago in 1922 including one in Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson, Orangeburg and Columbia. In 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions Club to be “knights for the blind,” Walker said.

“The Lions Clubs International challenged all clubs to establish a legacy project for the organization’s 100th anniversary,” Walker said. “Some clubs have small projects like road signs and some have bigger projects like spending $100,000 or more to build complete libraries.”

A ribbon cutting for the project was held on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Landrum Library. Walker said the Landrum Lions Club contacted the library to discuss possible project ideas and the club has been working on the project for a year and a half.

“The library said there was a need for an area in the center of the library because it used to be open space,” Walker said. “They had the recommendation to do some new carpeting, cabinets and assistance in purchasing some new books. We thought books with large print and audiobooks could be good for the project too.”

Anna Pilston, librarian at Landrum Library, said the new bookshelves and books have drawn a lot of attention.

“Everyone is excited about the new bookshelves and we got the large print books in this week, which have been getting requests for holding all over the county,” Pilston said. “We can’t thank the Landrum Lions Club enough for the renovations.”

The Landrum Lions Club also honored charter member Jack Stone at the ceremony Thursday evening. Each Lions Club member has their name engraved on one of the two bronze plaques commemorating the new space found on the bookshelves.

Landrum Mayor Robert Briggs also thanked Stone for his service and dedication to organizations within the city and declared February 16 as Jack Stone Day with a resolution presented at the ceremony.

“The Lions Clubs International motto is ‘We Serve’,” Walker explained. “The motto has a major emphasis is assisting the blind and visually challenged individuals and we work with many different needs such as hearing, diabetes, hunger, cancer, drug prevention and various diseases. The Landrum Lions Club is one of the more active clubs in South Carolina and it is our joy and privilege to give back to the community.”