Jerry Bellune receives The Lifetime Member Award

Honoring a Quarter-Century Commitment to Literacy in Central South Carolina

Turning Pages SC, a nonprofit literacy council dedicated to teaching adults to read for free, has bestowed its prestigious Lifetime Member Award upon Jerry Bellune in recognition of his unwavering dedication to literacy in central South Carolina. At 88 years old, Bellune’s tireless efforts continue to surpass those of individuals decades younger, positively impacting countless families in the region.

The Lifetime Member Award serves as a testament to Bellune’s lifelong contributions to the publishing world, his steadfast commitment to adult literacy, and his significant investment in the organization itself. This esteemed accolade, previously awarded in 2004 to former board chair Bruce Donatelli of Lexington, underscores Bellune’s enduring legacy.

Reflecting on his journey, Bellune remarked, “As a newspaper publisher, I once gave very little thought to adult illiteracy. That is, until I learned that a hard-working colleague could not read. He was afraid he would be fired once we knew. But we looked for a group to help him. That’s how I found Turning Pages. I was sad to realize adults who can’t read have to get their news on radio and TV. They could not get it from us, even though we published a great educational tool.”

A nationally recognized journalist and published author who founded the Lexington County Chronicle in 1992, Bellune has been a steadfast champion of Turning Pages SC since its inception as the Greater Columbia Literacy Council. His volunteer work, board membership, event planning, and fundraising efforts over the past twenty-five years have played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s literacy initiatives.

Lisa Cole, executive director of Turning Pages SC, expressed profound gratitude for Bellune’s invaluable contributions, stating, “Jerry’s passion for literacy is truly inspiring. His wisdom, encouragement, and unwavering support have been invaluable to our organization and to me personally. We talk often, and I am grateful for his mentorship.”

To learn more about Turning Pages SC and their literacy initiatives, please visit

Pictured Left to Right: Lisa Cole (Executive Director), Kara Cieri (Board Chair), Jerry Bellune (Honoree), Brittany Smith (Community Engagement Committee Chair)

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