HARTSVILLE, S.C. — The City of Light came to the small town with a big heart Saturday evening.

The Hartsville Country Club played host to the annual Hartsville Boys & Girls Club fundraiser called A Night of Hope that had a “Night in Paris” theme.

Paris, the capital of France, is known as the City of Light because of an effort from King Louis XIV to restore law and order during a war with Spain by ordering the placement of lanterns around the city to prevent law breakers from hiding in dark alleys. This made Paris one of the first European cities to embrace the idea of street lighting.

Hartsville’s city motto is a small town with a big heart.

Dianne Montgomery, the director of the Hartsville Boys & Girls Club for 11 years, said the fundraiser was in its fourth year.

“Each year we just give it a different kind of theme … like a Night in Paris,” Montgomery said.

All of the proceeds from the event will go toward daily operations of the club.

“Our members pay $20 for the entire school year,” Montgomery said. “We keep it low because we really want to serve those who need us the most. Most of our parents can’t really afford to pay $30, $40, $50 a week for after-school care.”

The club wants to provide a safe place for kids to go after school, she added.

“We are shooting for $20,000,” Montgomery added.

The Hartsville Boys & Girls Club was opened in 1999 with the assistance of community leaders, the Butler Heritage Foundation, the Hartsville police department, and grants from Sonoco, the Bureau of Juvenile Assistance and the Byerly Foundation. The club was the third unit – Florence and Timmonsville were first and second – in the umbrella organization known as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee, founded in 1964 by Leo Hawkins and Harold Tisdale, serves the Pee Dee with locations in Florence, Hartsville, Hemingway, Lake City, Pamplico and Timmonsville.

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