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Lions Club helps library meet fundraising goal for new teen space

Erwin Record photo by Richard Rourk • Front row, from left, Lions Club representative Doris Kaifa, Unicoi County Public Library Director Selena Harmon, Lions Club District Governor Millie Burke and Johnson City Lions Club President Debbie Shipley. Back row, from left, Lions Club representative Mike Reece, Lions Club representative Dustin Brown and former Lions Club District Governor Ed Gibbons.

By Richard Rourk


A dream advanced one step closer to reality for the Unicoi County Public Library thanks to a commitment from the newly minted Erwin Lions Club.

The Unicoi County Public Library Teen Space has been a project that Unicoi County Public Library Director Selena Harmon has had her eye on since joining the library. 

“We really wanted a safe space for teens to come and hang out to read, write, create and grow,” Harmon said. “We have been working on funding since late October.”

According to Harmon, the donation from the Lions Club put the project on budget. 

“The Lions Club is presenting us with $1,500 that will help this library and this community,” Harmon said. “This donation allowed us to reach our goal of $3,500 to renovate and expand our Teen Space. We are so happy that Lions Club decided to partner and invest in us.”

The proposed Teen Space is scheduled to be based on a popular young adult book series. “Our Teen Space will be Harry Potter-themed with a nine and three-fourths platform,” Harmon said. “I’m so thrilled to have this place available for the teens of Unicoi County.”

Projects like the Teen Space align with the principles of the Lions Club. 

“We want to give the community and the Unicoi County Library one hundred percent of our support,” said Johnson City Lions Club President Debbie Shipley. “We are real excited to start a Lions Club here in Erwin and we are so grateful for all the support the community has given us. We have worked real hard to get this program up and running. We are very dedicated to getting this club up and running.”

Harmon is hopeful that the Teen Space will be complete in 2021. 

“It depends on how quickly and how much help we can get from the public,” Harmon said. 

To volunteer to help make the Teen Space a reality, please call the library at (423) 743-6533. Follow the progress of the Teen Space by following Unicoi County Public Library on Facebook.

For those interested in joining the Lions Club, email [email protected]