For Claxton

Retiring Commissioner Chuck Fritts makes a commitment to his community’s future

Anderson County Director of Schools Dr. Tim Parrot talks about the impact of retiring Anderson County Commissioner Chuck Fritts’ donation to Claxton School. (photo:Ken Leinart )
His name is Chuck Fritts. He’s a longstanding county commissioner for District 1.

He is quiet, reserved almost, during Anderson County Commission meetings. He speaks when he thinks it’s a benefit to speak.

And when he speaks, people listen.

Last Friday, Aug. 26, he spoke volumes.

Fritts, who served 20 years on County Commission before deciding not to run this year, donated $5,000 to the Claxton School Library in honor of his wife, Debbie.

Debbie Fritts has long been an advocate of reading, often using her own money to buy students books during book fairs at the school.

“She and the other volunteers would go the extra mile to help kids who really couldn’t afford them to have a book,” Fritts said. “She did this every year while one of our kids were at Claxton.”

Commissioner Fritts said that when he and Debbie were married they moved to the Claxton community, and all three of their children attended school there, and later (at that time) Clinton Junior High School.

For Chuck and Debbie Fritts, community service is accomplished first hand.

They no longer have children at Claxton School.

They no longer need to attend book fairs or school functions promoting literacy.

The library donation would seem corny if it wasn’t so heartfelt.

It would seem “corny” if it wasn’t heartfelt.

“When I became a county commissioner in September 2002, no one was really aware of the sacrifice the spouse makes to support her husband,” Fritts said. “It’s hard to say how many birthdays, special events, etc., that I missed being a commissioner.

“In honor of my wife, Debbie, for the sacrifices she had to make over the past 20 years and for her desire to see all children to learn how to read,” Fritts said in announcing the contribution.

While some of the money will be used for technology, Claxton Principal Jennifer Coleman said the funds will also purchase “impact books,” reading material for students who struggle with reading.

Fritts also noted that he was a member of the last class to graduate from Claxton’s eighth grade before the school switched to K-sixth grade,

“I guess that dates me,” Fritts said.

On his way out of being an Anderson County commissioner, Fritts has made an impact on his constituents.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank called Fritts’ donation a “next level” commitment to Anderson County.