As The Village Green celebrates its 30th year as The Heart of Cashiers, they recently announced that on March 22, a generous donation from Bill and Sue Lewis has fulfilled the balance of The Village Green’s construction loan, and it is now debt-free.
“We love this community, and it has become our home,” said Bill and Sue Lewis. “We believe that The Village Green is ‘the Heart of Cashiers’ and this $500,000 donation will help preserve these wonderful facilities for future generations. Both of our families love Cashiers, and they plan to be a part of the community long after we are gone. We are fortunate to be able to leave this legacy that our family and the entire community can continue to enjoy.”
While celebrating this monumental occasion, Sue (Chair of The Village Green Board of Directors) wanted to ensure that the kindness of community members who supported The Village Green’s success for the past 30 years were also recognized and celebrated.
Between 1992 and 1994, 10.5 acres were acquired and donated to The Village Green through The Village Conservancy.
Al Balestiere, Elizabeth Lupton, and Jack Davenport came together in 1992 to protect the village core from being developed by a large hotel chain.
William W. Pulley donated six acres to The Village Green through The Village Conservancy, Inc. in honor of his granddaughter to establish the Kara Leigh Pulley Park.
An additional three and a half acres next to the Cashiers post office were acquired in 1994 to extend the park to Frank Allen Road and was leased by Summit Charter School for nine years.
The beloved Village Play was erected twenty years ago by devoted and dedicated Cashiers community members who not only donated financially to the cause, but came out in droves to lend their equipment, tools, and strength to construct the playground in two days!
By 2012, The Village Green needed a leader, and the Board of Directors hired Ann Self, a true community treasure. Under her leadership, The Village Green of Cashiers, Inc. was designated as an independent 501c3 organization in 2014.
The Village Green leadership continued their commitment to serve the community and identified the need for expanded indoor public gathering space. Thus, in 2016, The Growing a Vision for Cashiers Campaign began under the leadership of Chair Joe Thompson.
Joe Thompson, Ann Self, and the Board led the charge, and members of the community embraced the opportunity to construct the new Lewis Hall at The Village Green.
“There are so many individuals to thank who were instrumental in the success of this campaign,” said Ann Self, previous Executive Director of The Village Green. “Our community’s dedication to bettering Cashiers allowed The Village Green to complete the construction of the Hall. We obtained the Certificate of Operation in December of 2019, and opened our doors to the community shortly after.”
In two short years, and during a pandemic, The Lewis Hall at The Village Green has been the public gathering site for over 200 programs, classes, festivals, lectures, recitals, concerts, weddings, community forums, and family gatherings, fulfilling The Village Green’s purpose and mission.
“We are so fortunate to have a leader such as Sue Lewis here at The Village Green,” said current Executive Director Ashlie Mitchell-Lanning. “We are even more fortunate that she and Bill have so much passion and love for our Cashiers’ community. Through gifts such as theirs and others, The Village Green can now celebrate our 30th Anniversary debt-free. With support such as this, we will all raise the tide together and strengthen our sense of community here in Cashiers. So, thank you to everyone who has supported The Village Green for 30 years, and here’s to 30 more.”
As a 501c3, nonprofit park system that receives no county, state, or federal funding, The Village Green relies on the generosity of our friends, neighbors, and community members to keep our park for the people here for generations to come.
The Village Green invites you to join others to fulfill our vision of protecting the history and integrity of Cashiers through the preservation and recreational enhancements of green spaces in our community.
To learn more about The Village Green click HERE.
Article courtesy of The Village Green