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Bethune sells items from vacant elementary school

The school, which will soon transform into a community center, is selling most of its contents at low prices.

BETHUNE, S.C. — The Town of Bethune has spent months transforming the former Bethune Elementary School into a community center. On Saturday the town took the next step of selling all of the items from the inside. 

The school has been vacant for close to a year with desks, books, and chairs still sitting around. Now that the town is preparing for the community center to come to life in early 2023, they held a rummage sale Saturday morning to get rid of the items. 

Elizabeth Gaskin and her grandson Lelond Brown attended the event and got chairs for their house, clothes, and other items. 

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They said they're excited about the project as 100% of the proceeds the town raises will go into the community center. 

"I think it will really help the community, we appreciate all that's being done," said Gaskin. 

"I hope it brings the community together," added another attendee, Tony Sullivan. 

The event was also an opportunity for several teachers to get items at a discounted rate for their classrooms.  

"Just to see what things I can find for my own classroom, get some furniture, some books, different classroom resources, different manipulatives to use for math, different things that will help our classroom tremendously," said teacher Heather Kelly. "We can get more for our money - more items - because we have to spend our own money." 

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"It's great for us, especially making sure we maintain a budget each month, and it gives us an opportunity to do more for our parents and our classroom," added Nashanda Johnson, the owner of Caughman Academy in Camden. 

The mayor said that, in total, they were able to raise $700 already, but they still have items left over. So, in the future, the town is telling the public to call in if there is a need for the remaining items. Otherwise, interested parties will have to wait for a possible second sale at the school. 

The community center is expected to welcome several agencies including the Kershaw County Council on Aging and the Mobile Nutrition Center among others. 

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