SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) — Tuesday was Dolly Parton Day across Ohio! She was in Columbus to celebrate and promote her Imagination Library program. All 88 counties have an affiliate for the library. The Brightside Project in Salem covers Columbiana County. Directors of the non-profit were at the state capital Tuesday to hear the country music legend speak.
Ohio’s First lady Fran DeWine has been a big supporter of the effort.
“Ohio has more kids enrolled in the Imagination Library than any other state,” said Fran.
Since 2020, the Brightside Project of Salem has been an affiliate of the Imagination Library. They help get books to kids up to the age of five.
Directors Scott Lewis and Lisa Wallace were invited to attend the event.
“The governor spoke, First Lady DeWine spoke and they introduced Dolly Parton. We got to hear her sing a couple of songs,” said Lisa Wallace.
Hundreds of people showed including Columbiana County Commissioners and members of the Mental Health Board. But mainly, the event was about appreciating the people who make it possible in Ohio.
Wallace mentioned her favorite part was when Governor Mike DeWine talked about Fran being by his side.
“And he shared with us how special it was for him to be standing by her side and how proud he was of her,” said Wallace.
Both Lewis and Wallace got to share a few words with the Governor and First Lady and got to take a picture with the couple.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get to meet Parton but still getting a chance to be there, lit a spark for the two.
“Because it is draining because what we do on a regular basis, and Lisa and I are always just talking about burnouts,” said Lewis.
“When you get together and you’re working towards one common life-changing goal. It really does something inside of you. It really lights a fire,” said Wallace.
“There are people, millions of people all over this world that can’t read, don’t get a chance to go to school and so, that’s what gave me the inspiration,” said Parton.