PILOT MOUNTAIN — Pilot Mountain has a new mayor.
Well, an honorary one anyway.
Santana Hull, an East Surry High School sophomore, was named honorary mayor of the town by the real mayor, Dwight Atkins, as part of a multi-year fundraising effort Santana has started for Charles H. Stone Memorial Library
On Halloween community members came together for a carnival that served as a kick-off for the fundraising project for the Charles H. Stone Memorial Library. The effort is a combination of ideas, according to Santana. “I wanted to do something for the community,” she said, mentioning that she had heard about the library’s need and it felt like a perfect match.
“I was thrilled when Santana asked to do this project,” said Head Librarian Anna Nichols. The two decided to direct funds raised toward new technology for the children’s and young adult sections of the library before addressing other needs.
More than 50 participants enjoyed the carnival games including corn hole, basketball free throw, football toss, and a bounce house. The $5 admission covered all games with an extra fee for some activities such as face painting, pumpkin decorating, and food. Little Caesars pizza, Chik-fil-A sandwiches, chips, cupcakes, candy apples, cotton candy, and drinks were available. A 50/50 raffle was held to raise additional funds.
“I have had so much support from my church community,” Santana said. Members of Jessup Grove Baptist Church baked cup cakes, helped with set-up, and worked on the day of the event. Several students from East Surry also volunteered throughout the day, attending game stations.
“I plan to have this event each fall, and another event each spring,” she said, adding that the spring event is still being developed.
Santana was named honorary mayor and presented a key to the city from Mayor Atkins. “This is a wonderful thing, especially for those who hold the library dear,” said Atkins.
Santana’s friend Andrew Kozlow, who became the honorary mayor of Ararat while working on his senior project, inspired the idea for being named mayor. The title will last through her senior year, giving her time to establish the program before recruiting the next honorary mayor.
“She turned in $630 in donations last week,” said Santana’s mother, Sonya Gaynard. More than $500 more was accumulated by the end of the event on Saturday.
“I really want to thank the mayor and the library for the opportunity to give back to the community,” said Hull, explaining how grateful she is for the support she has received over the past year after losing her boyfriend Gage Edwards to a fatal car accident.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.