Library Walk-A-Thon Raises More Than $4,000
Local businesses and residents raised more than $4,000 at Saturday's walk-a-thon to raise funds for the construction of a new 22,886 square-foot library at Bliss Four Corners.
Organizers said the Friends of Tiverton Libraries 5K Walk-a-thon was originally set for a June 2 date which was postponed due to rain.
Neither the relatively small turnout nor the weather dampened fundraising efforts this weekend. According to the event coordinator, Peter Dowling, generous contributions from participants and area businesses earned more than $4,000. Construction on the $11.6 million library is slated to start later this year.
"The walk-a-thon was originally supposed to be held on June 2 in conjunction with the library fair and the book fair at the high school, but there was a big rain storm so we rescheduled," said Dowling. "We had to hold it on our own and I think we lost a lot of people. I think we would have had more of a good day on June 2 if people could have come right over from the library and book fair."
In addition to a $20 registration fee, donations from local small business owners added to the success of the library's inaugural walk-a-thon.
"The response really was overwhelming," said Dowling. "Even in this economy every business that we approached gave us something."
Union Studio was the major sponsor, donating $500.
After voters apporved a $7 million bond to help pay for the state-of-the-art, energy effiecient building in November, the walk-a-thon is just one grass roots fundraising intiative out of many locally driven efforts to raise the rest of the funds, according to Kathy Ryan, president of the board of directors of the Friends of the Tiverton Library.
With funding levels at 90 percent, the library is in the final stage of its capital campaign and soliciting community donations and involvement, said Ryan. Building Committee Chairman Dr. Leon Hoyer told Patch in May that more than $3 million in funding had been had been secured through gifts, businesses and private donors.
The new 22,886 square-foot building will replace the Tiverton Essex Public Library located on Highland Road. The existing library was build in 1938 for the town's 3,000 residents, but 74 years later the building is too small and ill-equipt to handle the town's current 15,000 residents. Fire code limits the building's capacity at 30 people including staff.
"After the building is finished there will be a plaque outside saying that the building was built by more than 15,000 pairs of hands," said Ryan, "People are helping in big ways and little ways, but it's very much a community effort."