Store owner donates butterfly bench to nonprofit

CONYERS - It was a moment of serendipity when Barbara McCarthy found what she believes to be the perfect bench for a children's garden at the Light House Village.

While attending the recent open house for Fieldstone Center, McCarthy, past president for the Conyers Rotary Club, mentioned to Brad Poynter, the owner of Fieldstone Center, that she wanted to find "something whimsical" for the Rotary Children's Garden at the Light House Village.

Without realizing it, McCarthy was standing in front of two butterfly benches designed by Rich Wood.

"It was sort of like serendipity," McCarthy said.

Poynter said he told McCarthy the retail price of the benches, which she said was outside the Rotary Club's budget. But when she explained that she wanted something that was warm and inviting for the children who would be staying at Light House Village, Poynter offered to donate one of the butterfly benches.

Poynter said that he has a soft spot for children, especially those with an illness.

The Light House Village brings together three nonprofit organizations on one campus to maximize resources and opportunities to better serve those in need of specialized care. Included in the Light House Village, which is located on Sigman Road, are a respite care home for children and adults with special needs, emergency temporary housing for displaced families and residential transitional care for medically fragile children.

The Children's Garden is a special area set near the retreat respite home off Agape Circle.

The Rotary Club took on the Children's Garden as one of the club's community service projects, although it wasn't the first Rotary project on the grounds of the Light House Village. Before the Garden was constructed, the land where Light House Village now sits on was "unbuildable." as McCarthy put it, requiring significant clearing. A United Way grant to the Rotary Club was used to plant hundreds of trees and help bring the land back to its natural vegetation, she said.

McCarthy said the Rotary Club is aiming to complete the Children's Garden by spring. Once the retaining wall is complete, hopefully this week, McCarthy said, another group of volunteers will install an irrigation system. Once the construction is finished, the Master Gardeners of Conyers and the Conyers Garden Club will plant flowers in the garden.

"In my experience when people are generous, then whatever project you are working on is going to be a great thing," McCarthy said.

For more information on the Children's Garden, call Barbara McCarthy at 770-483-6412. For more on the Light House Village, visit www.lighthousevillageinc.org.

Julie Anderson can be reached at julie.anderson@rockdalecitizen.com.