New library kickoff raises $134,000

FORT FRANCES—The “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign for a new library in Fort Frances kicked off with a bang Friday—seeing a total of $134,130 in donations come in by the end of the day.
“It’s very good. We’re really pleased,” chief librarian Margaret Sedgwick enthused Monday morning. “It’s a very encouraging start.”
Donations ranged from $50,000 and $25,000 from the “Friends of the Library” and library board chairperson Joyce Cunningham, respectively, to $20 brought in by eight-year-old Mitchell Riordan.
The campaign kickoff officially got underway at noon Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site of the new library, located on Second Street East and Reid Avenue adjacent to the Memorial Sports Centre.
A hundred-plus crowd was in attendance, ranging from campaign chair Mark Kowalchuk and library board chair Joyce Cunningham to dignitaries like Mayor Roy Avis and Ontario Ministry of Culture rep Lisa Moncrief.
Also on hand for the ribbon-cutting were students from Robert Moore, St. Michael’s, and Huffman School—the three schools within walking distance of the future library.
Several speakers shared a few words about the history of the project and what lies in the future.
This was followed by a gathering at the current library later Friday afternoon, at which time people dropped by to donate to the cause and get more information about the future building.
They also socialized, enjoyed refreshments, and listened to music provided by local performers.
The funds raised Friday were in addition to the $1.6 million cheque from the Ontario Ministry of Culture the library received that day. This grant was announced last month.
The library campaign has only just begun, however, with the “Building for the Future” campaign goal being $750,000—meaning there’s another $615,870 to go.
Sedgwick noted everyone is encouraged to give to the campaign. Those who want to give should call the library at 274-9879 or drop by in person.
As well, pledge cards will be sent out in the mail this week.
Donations in any amount are welcome, and donors even can spread their pledges over five years. All donations over $25 will be issued a tax receipt. VISA and Mastercard also are accepted.