HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Rev. Christopher Frazier has been named the chairman of the Butler Heritage Foundation.

Frazier is the pastor of Mount Olive Word of Life Church in Hartsville.

Former chairman, Dr. Alvin Heatley, stepped down in February after over a decade of service to the foundation.

“Dr. Heatley has been a warrior for over a decade,” Fraizer said.

Under Heatley’s leadership, the Foundation built partnerships across the community. Fraizer confirmed that the Foundation will build on these past accomplishments. Today, the campus houses the Boys & Girls Club, the Butler Senior Center, and Butler Head Start.

The foundation continues to work to renovate the former school’s gymnasium.

“The Foundation is working extremely hard with strategic partners to finish the gym renovations,” Fraizer said. “We’re planning a major capital campaign to cover our five-year strategic plan.”

The annual Heritage Week festivities, which are the Foundation’s major fundraising events that bring Butler High School alumni and their families to Hartsville every July 4th weekend, has been postponed and reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Heritage Week is our major fundraising campaign,” Fraizer said. “however the safety of Butler High School alumni, family and friends is the upmost importance to the board, which is why some Heritage Week activities have been rescheduled.”

During Labor Day weekend, the Foundation will host three major activities: Annual Business Meeting and Heritage Dance on Friday 9/4, Family Tailgate on Saturday 9/5, and the Annual Banquet and Roll-Call of Classes on Sunday 9/6. Of course, this schedule is subject to change.

Fraizer said “without all of you, we could not continue to the work on the campus. We need your support and prayers as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Butler Heritage Foundation seeks to preserve the legacy of Butler High School by establishing a community and cultural center, and by providing and supporting diverse programs for all. After graduating the class of 1982, Butler High School closed, and the campus was used by the Darlington County School District. In September of 1991, alumni, friends, and former faculty organized to transform the campus into a community center. In November 1993, the Foundation formed as a 501©(3) non-profit to continue the renovation and management of the campus.

Renovations to the gym have been a recent focus. In the last two years, the Foundation invested over $100,000 to repairing the roof, ceiling, and windows. Starting in summer 2020, the locker rooms, front lobby and lobby bathrooms will be renovated.

Membership with the Butler Heritage Foundation is only $20 annually. To become a member, visit the Foundation’s website at butlerheritagefoundation.org

Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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