Late Columbia mayor honored at Russell Boulevard Elementary

COLUMBIA - On World Kindness day, students and faculty at Russell Boulevard Elementary came together to honor former Columbia mayor Darwin Hindman.

A kindness tree and bench in the shape of a butterfly were dedicated to the late mayor, who passed away in June.

Hindman served as Columbia's mayor from 1995 to 2010, over the course of five terms. Hindman's wife, Axie, spoke before the ribbon cutting, citing how much Darwin would have enjoyed it.

"He was a firm believer in Columbia Public Schools," Hindman said.

Mayor Hindman's son-in-law and fourth ward councilman Ian Thomas said the late mayor left a lasting impact on his community.

"He always struck me as a great statesman and someone who really cared about other people," Thomas said. "He had the tools and skill set to do something about that." 

The dedication also included a song performed by the students as well as paintings of butterflies to celebrate.

"[Hindman] was a great champion for the city of Columbia and the Columbia public school system," Thomas said. "He always said having a strong school district was the base of a strong city."

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