Benefactor Gives Major Gift To Amory’s Library

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AMORY, MISS. (WCBI) – Amory’s library receives a big financial boost and it can even be doubled, with the community’s help.

In James Smith’s will he left $250,000 to the Amory Municipal Library.

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The money was passed through his estate in Chicago to the CREATE Foundation in north Mississippi, establishing the James and Elizabeth Smith endowment.

A gift of this size, will help the library continue its mission and advance in technology.

“A library today is not just checking out books, it’s having computer access, we’re even, just gotten a 3D printer, but just range of services you can provide for a community has grown so much over time,” said David Millender, president of the library board.

Nobody really remembers James Smith, once he left for Chicago in the mid 1940s, he spent his adult years there, where he became successful in the world of finance and business, but his mother lived in Amory and was a frequent visitor to the library.

“I think this is Jim saying to his mother, I loved you so much, and you loved the library so much that in whatever way I can I want to contribute back to the library,” said Jon Will, of the Chicago Community Foundation, which is trustee for Mr. Smith’s estate.

There’s also an opportunity to double the gift through a challenge grant. If the community can raise $125,000 that amount will be matched, through the fund.

“That’s one of the real advantages of having an approach like this, that the fund will grow over time and maintain its spending power , it’s a win win for an organization, community and CREATE is proud to be a partner,” said Mike Clayborne, president of the CREATE Foundation.

Clayborne estimates it will take about three years to raise $125,000 for the challenge grant.

When fully funded, the half a million dollar gift would produce about $20,000 a year for the Amory library.

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