South Charlotte

Bissell donation to transform library patio

At the check presentation were Howard Bissell, left, senior vice president and director of Bissell; JJ Bissell, senior vice president and director of Bissell; Tom Pizzo, president of Bissell Property Services; Margaret Bissell, director of Bissell; Smoky Bissell, chairman of Bissell; Kevin Bittle, manager of South County Regional Library; Lee Keesler, chief executive officer of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation; Jenni Gaisbauer, executive director of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation; David Singleton, director of libraries at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation.
At the check presentation were Howard Bissell, left, senior vice president and director of Bissell; JJ Bissell, senior vice president and director of Bissell; Tom Pizzo, president of Bissell Property Services; Margaret Bissell, director of Bissell; Smoky Bissell, chairman of Bissell; Kevin Bittle, manager of South County Regional Library; Lee Keesler, chief executive officer of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation; Jenni Gaisbauer, executive director of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation; David Singleton, director of libraries at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation.

Bissell Cos. gave more than $36,000 to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library recently.

With the gift, the South County Regional Library, near Ballantyne Corporate Park, will transform its underutilized patio into an interactive learning space and community garden for residents.

This gift will enable South County Regional Library to bring new energy to a space that has unlimited potential.

Lee Keesler, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library CEO

Christina Thigpen, Bissell vice president of marketing and communications, said the project would be an asset to the community and, on a personal level, meaningful to chairman Smoky Bissell as well.

“This project can be enjoyed by our tenants and by the community around Ballantyne Corporate Park,” Thigpen said. “On a personal level, Mr. Bissell is an avid gardener and is very passionate about investing in our youth, and this project serves both of those passions.”

The new space will include vegetable and butterfly gardens, planting tables and watering trays and hands-on activities to encourage learning about the environment. The renovated space is intended to serve as a learning lab for children and families, teaching about plants, gardening, environmental sustainability, beneficial insects and more.

“This gift will enable South County Regional Library to bring new energy to a space that has unlimited potential to cultivate learning and spark imagination for children and adults alike,” said Lee Keesler, chief executive officer of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

The community gift is a tradition started three years ago by the Bissell team who were challenged to come up with a gift that would honor the tenants in Ballantyne Corporate Park and serve the surrounding community.

The first year the company purchased a van for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Last year they installed a new playground at Endhaven Elementary School.

The library garden project should be completed in the spring.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer: m.johnston@carolina.rr.com.

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