Commissioner treks across Columbia County for library fundraiser

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COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — If you’re traveling through Columbia County you might just see Columbia County Commissioner Chris Young walking on the side of the road.

“It’s been a good day today, it hasn’t been hot, it’s been good. I’m getting a little tired now, I think it’s cause I did two big hills,” Young said.

Young walks just about every day but he isn’t just going for any old stroll this week – he’s doing it to raise money for the Columbia County traveling library. Funds for the bookmobile were depleted, and fundraisers planned to raise that money were cancelled to follow health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So I decided I would do something.. I wanted to do something bigger for the Bookmobile and really help out. So I decided I would walk the county from top to bottom,” Young said.

Wednesday marks the third day of his 50-mile walk through the county and every day Young picks up walking from the spot he ended at the previous day. He says it can be tiring and he’s a bit sore, but it’s all worth it.

“Mentally you prepare yourself because it’s for a good cause and you wanna do it because you wanna raise some money for the book mobile and you wanna accomplish something,” Young said.

The bookmobile began traveling around Columbia County 80 years ago.

“Since 1941. Our first bookmobile looked a little bit like a PT cruiser. And this is the 6th new bookmobile. About every 20 years we need to replace it and we depend on the community to show up and support that effort,” Ammon Young, director of the Columbia County Traveling Library, said.

So far they’ve raised $15,000. The goal is to raise $25,000 to pay off the new bookmobile. The bookmobile travels around the county because there are rural communities within it that don’t have libraries. Young is an author and poet and understands the importance of reading.

“It’s just the very foundation of success is literacy. Reading is fundamentally important and besides that reading is enjoyable,” Young said.

They hope the bookmobile will be back on the road next month. To donate to the cause, click here.

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