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Olympian Johnny Weir funds Quarryville library after Fulton Twp. cuts gift over LGBTQ+ content

  • By Jack Panyard/LNP | LancasterOnline
Johnny Weir, shown here during his recent stint on ABC's

 Kelsey McNeal | ABC

Johnny Weir, shown here during his recent stint on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," has been elected to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

When figure skating icon and Quarryville native Johnny Weir heard Fulton Township supervisors were defunding the borough’s library because it offers materials about LGBTQ+ life and culture, he decided to step in.

Weir, an avid supporter of both his hometown and LGBTQ+ causes, announced over social media Saturday that he would cover the township’s annual $1,000 allocation to the library for as long as he could, saying via Instagram that he wanted to “help save a community that raised me and to make sure the library represents everyone, not just the few.”

Weir’s generosity has become contagious.

Since posting a link to the donation page for Quarryville Library Center in his Instagram feed, library board President Chris Waite said there has been a substantial influx of giving, though he did not put a dollar figure on the donations.

“There’s been a tremendous outpouring of even just calls and concerns,” Waite said. “The community has really stepped up to support in one way or another. We were very, very happy to get that response from the community.”

Weir, 39, the son of John and Patti Weir, is a three-time U.S. national champion in men’s figure skating and a two-time Olympian. He competed in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. In 2022, he was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. This summer he retired from performing after his final shows with Fantasy on Ice in Japan.

Weir’s family discovered his skating talent while he was growing up in Quarryville, and moved to Delaware when he was in middle school so he could train for competition, where he currently operates the Johnny Weir Skating Academy.

Weir has a soft spot for Quarryville, describing his childhood as idyllic. He said it was a safe place to grow up in his early years.

“It was one of those comfortable places where we didn’t lock our doors,” Weir said Monday in a telephone interview. “It gave me the opportunity to find my voice and to be whoever I wanted to be. There wasn’t a whole lot of aggression.”

Weir has returned to his hometown multiple times, donating a new library wing to the Quarryville Elementary Library or auctioning wardrobe items to benefit Quarryville Fire Company.

When community members reached out to him about the funding cuts, Weir said he felt obliged to act. He said it can be isolating in small communities to feel different, but there has been an increase in resources for people struggling with their identity.

Weir said he is going to support the library as long as he can and hopes by doing so his message of positivity will spread.

“I’m going to do the best I can for as long as I can,” Weir said.

Quarryville Library Center is one of 14 libraries in the Library System of Lancaster County. It serves residents of Bart, Colerain, Drumore, East Drumore, Eden, Fulton, Little Britain, Martic and Providence townships and Quarryville Borough.

In addition to providing books to the community, the center has a series of day programs for adults and children including math clubs, book clubs, tech help, Medicare enrollment, employment assistance and baby storytimes, as well as a passport service center and internet service.

Library board members said they were surprised by the loss of support from Fulton Township and are working on reestablishing a positive relationship with the township and residents of the communities they serve. The library board invited residents of its supporting municipalities to attend its next meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 to discuss any concerns.

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