MATTOON – A son of longtime Mattoon residents Obed and Jo Ann Henderson is honoring the memory of his parents with a $20,000 donation to the Mattoon Public Library.
The donation by Jon Henderson includes a $10,000 match by his employer, Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Company.
Obed Henderson was a music instructor for 18 years in public schools before joining Mass Mutual, serving as general agent for the Mattoon area from 1970 to 1986. Jo Ann and Obed raised their five children in Mattoon, making significant contributions, financial and otherwise, to the region over many years.
“This is a way to remember my parents, the example they set, and the legacy they left,” Jon Henderson said. “Helping the public library expand, update and diversify its collection over a period of years will have long term, lasting impact. It honors the love and commitment my parents had for Mattoon and the surrounding region.”
Henderson family and friends made significant contributions to the library after Jo Ann’s passing in 2016, so patrons already are accustomed to seeing books donated on behalf of Obed and Jo Ann.
“The library appreciates the generosity of this gift and recognizes the impact it will have over the long term,” said Library Director Carl Walworth. “Obed and Jo Ann supported and cared deeply about Mattoon. This gift carries on with the way they supported our region, recognizing the broad and deep impact of the public library on all ages.
“We will use these dollars to enhance our collection over a period of three years in ways that otherwise would have been beyond our budget,” Walworth said. “Gifts like this one are much needed to help us promote literacy and literature and to fulfill our critical community role that includes sparking ideas, enriching lives and strengthening community.”