Annual ‘Friends of the Library’ dance/dinner a smashing success

The “Friends of the Library” held their third-annual dinner and dance at La Place Rendez-Vous last Friday night, with more than 120 people attending the fundraising event.
About $2,700 was raised this year–almost $1,000 more than last year’s total–mainly through the silent auction. Bids on centrepieces donated by Lorraine Elliott and Linda Lovisa, as well as a painting by Vi Plumridge (taken home by Jenny Greenhalgh), also helped.
Proceeds from the event will go towards a $30,000 security system for the Fort Frances Public Library.
“We’re really concerned about the materials that have been going through our doors without being checked out,” said “Friends” treasurer Ruth Caldwell.
“We’re going to have to raise quite a bit of money for it. This is just the beginning,” she added.
Besides the money raised, the good turnout also was indicative of people’s support for the local library.
“We’re really pleased with the turnout. We sold 120 tickets in advance,” noted head librarian Margaret Sedgwick. “We [were] expecting quite a bit of funds to be raised.”
In fact, she noted “a couple of people” expressed interest in becoming members of the “Friends of the Library,” which meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the library.
Sedgwick also noted this was the first year the event had so many books–donated by 16 sponsors–to be auctioned off.
“We have such a wonderful selection of books for tonight,” echoed Caldwell.
More than a fundraiser, the annual event, which also featured dance music supplied by Myron Hawrylak and members of “Mood Indigo,” was an occasion for people to enjoy themselves.
“It’s an elegant evening . . . that’s nice to kick off the Christmas season,” noted Larisa Curr, who chairs the local library board. “Everyone is dressed to the nines.”
“I come to this event every year and have a wonderful time,” echoed Mary Ellen Kennedy, who felt the library here to be one of the best public services to support.
“I use the library all the time, and so do my two kids,” she added.
The first thing most people did when they arrived was peruse the 32 books donated for the silent auction. Titles ranged from Robert Bateman’s exotic “Safari” and Stuart McLean’s “Home from the Vinyl Cafe” to Richard Paul Evans’ delightful children’s book, “The Christmas Candle.”
“The Why Things Work” book fetched the highest price–$100–while the “365 Days of Duct Tape 1999 Calendar” brought in $65.
The door prize, a print by Pam Brandrick, was won by Curr.
Jim Avis entertained the crowd briefly before dinner was served, and asked everyone to applaud fundraiser co-ordinator Evelyn Metke.