UNION — The Union County Museum received a much-needed $2,500 donation thanks to Walmart’s commitment to serving and supporting the community.
In a statement released earlier this week, Union County Museum Director Ola Jean Kelly announced that she had received on behalf of the museum a check for $2,500 from Walmart Manager Jeremy Ethridge.
Kelly pointed out that Walmart awards grants to local organizations each year and that the museum had used a previous grant from the store several years ago to establish it’s Children’s Corner. She said those funds were also used to purchase books for middle school children about the heroes and heroines of the American Revolution who were from South Carolina or who served in the state during the war.
While there has been no decision yet on how the newest donation will be used, Kelly said Walmart’s generosity is much appreciated and much-needed.
“We haven’t decided what to do with it yet, but with our budget cut every donation helps,” Kelly said Friday.
The Union County Museum has seen its budget cut by a total of $59,000 in recent years. The cuts have forced the museum to reduce its staff by one-third and reduce its days and hours of operation.
Even as she contemplates what to use the Walmart donation for, Kelly is hard at work writing grant applications, including one she was working on Friday to help fund this year’s reenactment at the Cross Keys House.
In 1865, following the fall of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, the government of the Confederate States of American fled south. The flight of the Confederate government brought its remaining members to Union County where, on April 30, 1865, President Jefferson Davis, some members of his cabinet, and their military escort arrived at the Cross Keys Plantation in the Cross Keys Community. While their military escort rested on the house grounds, Davis and his cabinet members had lunch in the house before resuming their flight south.
Each year for the past several years, Davis’ visit has been reenacted and Kelly said plans are for it to be reenacted again this year with the three-event to coincide the actual anniversary of the event.
“This year it will be held April, 28, 29, and 30,” Kelly said. “The first day, April 28, will be School Day, and the second and third days, April 29 and 30, will be reenactments for the general public.”
While in previous years the event has been free to the public, Kelly said this year a fee will be charged due to the budget cuts the museum had to absorb.
The Cross Keys House is owned by the Union County Historical Society which also owns the Union County Museum.
For more information about the Union County Museum and the services it provides, call 864-429-5081.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.