Town of Lexington announces major gift to Caractor Park

August 21, 2008

LEXINGTON, S.C. – August 21, 2008 – The Town of Lexington announced today that the First Citizens Foundation has issued a $20,000 grant supporting the construction and development of Willie B. Caractor Park. The total estimated cost of the project is $222,000, and will be funded primarily through private donations.

The new park is located on a one-half acre property on the west side of town between Grey and N. Hendrix Streets in Lexington. Named after a prominent African-American leader in Lexington who was always willing to help his neighbors, the park will continue Caractor’s personal philosophy of reaching out to others by becoming a point of pride and a local gathering place for families.

Upon completion, the park will include a playground area, large picnic shelter that will also serve as a bandstand and gathering place, porch-style swings, natural trees and plants, green space for picnicking and leisure fun, lighting, surrounding fence, and a fountain. “We are pleased to announce that in recognition of their generous grant, the park’s fountain will bear the First Citizens name,” said Julie Washburn, community and corporate coordinator for the Town of Lexington.

The Willie B. Caractor Park will be an enormous asset to Lexington residents and the surrounding neighborhood. It has been developed in a transitional area that has seen many recent improvements as a result of the town’s public-private ventures. Mayor Randy Halfacre said, “Through their contribution, First Citizens demonstrates the effectiveness of public-private ventures and the impact they can have on the success of local community projects. By partnering with companies like First Citizens, and the other local area businesses that have committed to this project, we are confident that we will secure the resources to make this park one that will reflect the proud heritage of its namesake. First Citizens joins Lexington Medical Center and the Golden State Foods Foundation of Lexington as supporters of this park project.

First Citizens’ Chairman and CEO, Jim B. Apple said, “We are proud to support the development of the Willie B. Caractor Park, which will benefit the Town of Lexington and the residents of all ages who live here. Revitalization efforts such as this one are essential to the social and economic growth of our communities.”

For more information on how you can support the Willie B. Caractor Park project, contact Julie Washburn, corporate and community coordinator, at 803-358-1563 or [email protected].

About First Citizens
First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc., is the parent company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., The Exchange Bank of South Carolina, Inc., and Merchants and Farmers Bank of Comer, Georgia. First Citizens Bank offers services in commercial and retail banking through its 170 offices in South Carolina and Georgia. As of June 30, 2008, First Citizens Bancorporation had total consolidated assets of $6.53 billion. For more information, visit the First Citizens web site at