(Posted Jan. 28, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Mount Sterling has a generous friend in Stan “David” Hanson.
The Ocala, Fla., resident grew up in Mount Sterling and continues to give back to his hometown. In recent years, he and his wife, Martha, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the library, schools, youth athletics and more.
This past month, Hanson was at it again, donating $50,000 to Mount Sterling Public Library and $25,000 to the Mount Sterling Community Center.
Library director Chris Siscoe said the library will use the funds to purchase materials, including downloadable books and magazines, and for capital improvements, such as replacing the furnaces and roof which date back to the building’s 1994 addition.
“Stan told us he is happy with the way the library board has decided to use the money,” Siscoe said.
The donation comes on the heels of the library’s failed levy attempt in November. The library sought passage of a 0.4-mill, five-year property tax to help make up for years of decreased funding from the state. The levy would have been the library’s first-ever local tax. As it stands, the library only receives funding from the state and, last year, the state funded the library at 1996 levels.
“If you can imagine paying your bills today with your income from 1996, that’s the best way I can explain the impact (of the state cuts),” Siscoe said.
Hanson has donated to the library before. Two years ago, he provided $25,000 to get the bookmobile rolling. That donation will keep the vehicle in operation through the end of this school year, after which the library board will decide how to move forward. The bookmobile is funded primarily through private donations.
Linda Clemans, president of the Friends of the Mount Sterling Library and a friend of Hanson, attended the recent donation presentation on Hanson’s behalf. She said the Mount Sterling Alumni plan to honor Hanson for his generosity at their reunion in June.
Community Center Donation
About the $25,000 Hanson donated to the Mount Sterling Community Center, executive director Annie Tomlinson said, “This was a very unexpected gift. We certainly do appreciate his generosity.”
The money will be used to expand youth programs at the center.
“We’ve had many people request that we start a martial arts program, and I’d like to have more activities for Teen Night,” Tomlinson said.
One possibility for Teen Night, she said, is to bring in bands to perform live music. Teen Night takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and is open to youths in sixth through 12th grade. The program recently shifted from once a month to every week.
“We’re also looking into a summer lunch program with maybe an hour of activities afterward,” Tomlinson said.
Hanson has donated to the community center before, providing funding for a back-to-school store last August.