Sumter County welcomes Sheppard Pride Youth and Senior Citizen Community Center

Published 1:50 pm Monday, October 24, 2022

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Tracy K. Hall

Peggy Sheppard and Willie Mae Pride have long been names loved in adored in Andersonville. They are loved because they first loved the little Civil War Village. In their names, Andersonville went about creating a community center to serve their people. The center is located in a structure which boasts the title of “oldest building in Andersonville.” Its roots date back to 1847. Folks may know the building as school, private residence, restaurant or an antique store. Andersonville wanted to take care of their neighbors, so with CARES funding in hand, the governing body put thought into how to best invest it in their community.

In the early days of COVID-19, the funding was used to purchase computers, workstations and printers, especially for school aged children who were now looking at obtaining a virtual education. Andersonville internet coverage is at best spotty, so to bring broadband to this area was a much-needed gift of relief.  As another round of funding became available, they remodeled the 1847 building to hold their new equipment and serve as a gathering place for a beautiful community.

Andersonville staff, elected and Pride and Sheppard family members

In addition to the workstations, the center has a large variety of games, puzzles and books available. Local talent has volunteered their time to hold crafting and music classes. It is expected the center will continue to make such offerings to their citizens. In addition to being a heartbeat for Andersonville in these ways, the center can also serve as a facility for generations worth of events which need the honor of space and time to mark them in our lives.

The ladies who lived out their lives in Andersonville were wonderful examples of what it means to be a good neighbor. It is only fitting their names adorn the building which promises to be a gathering place for people to go to expand their talents, knowledge and make friends out of strangers. There is no doubt Peggy and Willie Mae are delighted to still be creating space for life to happen today. We stand on their legacy. We are still reaping the fruit of seeds they sowed. Stop in at the center—take a breather, be taken care of, walk into a space which encourages you to grow in knowledge and in friendships. And when you see those ladies’ pictures hanging on the wall, give them a smile, they knew you would show up there one day. They are glad you finally arrived.