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Library gets $50,000 donation

Library gets $50,000 donation

By Judy Reed

If the last day of 2009 was any indication, it’s going to be a good year for the Cedar Springs Public Library. That’s because last week Thursday, December 31, they received a $50,000 donation toward a brand new building.

“This is so exciting,” remarked Library Director Donna Clark.

The library staff, library board, friends of the library, and city manager Christine Burns were all on hand to receive the donation last week from former Mayor Linda Hunt, who was representing Kent CAP Cedar Springs non-profit housing, who was doing business as Red Flannel Acres. The money came from the sale of the apartment complex at the end of Oak Street to another owner.

Hunt explained that they could not profit on the sale and needed to give the money away.

“The community paid for Red Flannel Acres through taxes, and we thought it would be the best way to give back to the community,” she said. She noted that Red Flannel Acres would remain a low-income housing opportunity for residents, and that only the owners changed.

Former Mayor Linda Hunt presents a check to Cedar Springs Public Library Director Donna Clark to go toward building a new library.

The Friends of the Library have been working hard to raise funds through book sales and other fundraisers, and this check gives them new hope. The donation puts them about one-quarter of the way toward their $2 million goal. “I think the donation from the Red Flannel Acres board is a big boost towards our hopes of building a new library,” said Jo Furhoff, Library Board Chair. “With this donation, we will have approximately $440,000 saved for a new library. It is my hope that we as a board will be able to find someone to match $500,000 to our $500,000 goal to have $1 million raised in the very near future.”

Furhoff explained that once they reach $1 million, they would be able to move ahead with a capital campaign, and be eligible to apply for grants to help raise enough money to build a LEED certified larger library with multi-purpose room, and space for 21st century digital technology.

Clark sees the need for a large multi-purpose room every year during the summer reading program and other special events. “It’s a dream to have a larger library building. We’ve outgrown this building and are now into the schools and churches,” she explained. Last summer 779 people took part in the reading program.

Anyone wishing to donate to the library’s building fund should call the library at 696-1910.

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