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PARD Grant pushes fundraising for Bethune sign to goal

Posted: August 6, 2015 5:18 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Gary Phillips/C-I

Lifelong Bethune resident Bobby T. Jones (third from left) accepts an $8,000 Parks and Recreation Department Grant check on behalf of the town from State Sen. Vincent Sheheen and State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk. The grant money helps the town reach the estimated $25,000 cost of a programmable electronic sign to alert residents and visitors to events and announcements. Accepting the check with Jones are (from left) Bethune Town Councilman Don Witham, Bethune Mayor Charles McCoy and Bethune Town Council members John Heflin, Cindy Hunter and John Fulmer.

The town of Bethune recently received an $8,000 Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) Grant town leaders said brings a fundraising effort to buy a programmable message sign for the town to its $25,000 goal.

Kershaw County Legislative Delegation members State Sen. Vincent Sheheen and State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk presented the check to Bethune Mayor Charles McCoy and Bethune Town Council on Tuesday.

Council wants the sign in order to keep Bethune residents and visitors informed on events and special announcements. The message will be programmable, with the control kept at town hall. Former S.C. Department of Transportation Commissioner and lifelong Bethune resident Bobby T. Jones praised council for its interest in moving the town forward.

“Finally, after all these years, the government of Bethune is getting involved. In the past two years, I’ve seen a big, big difference. You all surely deserve a lot of credit,” Jones said. 

McCoy said council will continue building on the momentum it has now.

“We don’t want to back off. We want to keep moving forward until we accomplish what we want to,” McCoy said.

Sheheen said the legislative delegation has also taken notice of the efforts council has made in improving the town.

“We want to express to you how impressed we’ve been with the effort and the work you have done over the last few years. It makes our jobs much easier when you guys have a vision of where you want to go and where you want to receive help,” Sheheen said. “We are committed to the town of Bethune and to the county of Kershaw and we’re going to do everything in our power to assist you whenever we can.”

Funderburk said she had friends in Bethune as a child and feels a special kinship with the town.

“I want to thank you for all you’re doing to help make Bethune a great place for families, a great place for children, keeping the activities and all the events going to help make the community strong,” she said. “You’re doing a wonderful job and we are happy to help.”

Councilman Don Witham, who has led the sign project, said the $8,000 grant takes the sign fund up to its estimated $25,000 cost. Witham said bids will be sought, and hopes competition between sign companies will lower the final cost, but $25,000 is the best estimate at this time.

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