In 1976, the St. Lawrence community celebrated the Bi-Centennial with a new recreation center complete with a playground. The equipment was painted red, white and blue to commemorate the occasion. Fast forward nearly 50 years later and the playground is like new.
The renovations to the St. Lawrence Community Center located on highway 521 in Salters were made possible through a partnership between the Legislative Delegation and Duke Energy as well as the efforts of former Williamsburg County Parks and Recreation Director Andre Dorsey, Williamsburg County Council and the community.
Senator Ronnie Sabb, Representatives Cezar McKnight and Carl Anderson and Duke Energy Government and Community Relations District Manager Theo Lane spoke at the July 1, ribbon cutting.
Sabb said the renovations provide an opportunity for enhanced quality of life. “When you think about communities and playgrounds and children and all those kind of things, it’s a part of the vibrancy of our communities,” said Sabb. McKnight recalled childhood memories of his time playing in the park. “This is where I played as a child. I learned to swim here in this pool,” said McKnight. He remembered sliding down the brightly painted yellow slide, which at that time was bare metal and hot. “So many children have played here and so many families have enjoyed this facility. I think often times we take recreation for granted but it is part of the glue that holds our community together because it allows for people to fellowship.”
Other speakers included Williamsburg County Councilmember Jonathan Miller who represents the district. He credited the senior citizens whose vision sparked the early beginnings of the park. “Those who had the vision, we’re going to follow the vision,” said Miller about those who gave $30 each year toward the facility. “And those of us who understand what it means to a community, for us to work together with government and the community, we can create great things in our community. We only have to stay together.”
During his comments, Duke Energy Government and Community Relations District Manager Theo Lane referred to parks as a safe place for families. “It’s a place where children can come to where they can be safe, where they can enjoy recreation, where you can enjoy family events. Those are important needs and we’re delighted to be able to do that.” Duke Energy contributes $30 million in annual funding through the Duke Foundation into communities it serves.
Andre Dorsey pointed to the recreation department that is now under the direction of Turquoise Rouse, and their hands in bringing the facility up to date. “I want to thank you and your staff for making sure that the vision of the delegation come through,” he said. “This is something beautiful and this is something I think will continue to last throughout the years.”