Children’s Department Fundraiser Knocks It Out of the Park

Thanks to an outpouring of support for “A Toast to the Goodnow,” renovation of the Goodnow Library’s Children’s Room will be finished early next year.

More than 300 people jammed the Sudbury library October 19 for the wine-tasting fundraiser. The event sponsor — the Goodnow Library Foundation — had promised town residents the chance to party in a community setting while raising money for a worthy cause.

Partygoers took full advantage.

Many arrived early and stayed late. They tasted wines from around the world, craft beers, aged Scotch, and other liquors, courtesy of Sudbury Wine & Spirits. They ate delicious offerings from Salt Box Farm Catering of Concord, whose Roasted Sugar Pumpkin Fondue with olive oil crostini drew rave reviews.

There were raffle basket drawings and door prizes. Two musical groups from Lincoln Sudbury High School, the Accent A Cappella and Select Jazz Combo, performed, as did Encore: An Adult Glee Club. Sports fans were even able to watch the Red Sox move to the World Series on screens set up in two locations.

Before the night was over, “Toast” raised $34,981. The money will go entirely for new furnishings, shelving, art and toys in the Children’s Room.

“What a great event,” said Goodnow director Esmé Green. “We had a great turnout—everyone from seasoned library regulars to groups of newbies—and all enjoyed the great space, the tastings, the fundraising activities of the raffle baskets and the wish list items for the Children’s room. Many people approached me to thank us for providing an opportunity for the community to come together.”

The Children’s Room renovation began in October, using a $25,000 pledge from an anonymous donor. The pledge allowed library staff and foundation board members to plan a two-phase project. Phase One was revitalization of the Octagon area and some upgrades in the adjoining main room.

The foundation decided to dedicate all profits of its fall fundraiser to Phase Two, which included purchase of additional shelving, chairs, artwork and specialty items such as a fish tank and yogibos (bean-bag-like seating).

The town spent $27,000 to provide paint and new carpeting. Even so, foundation board members had anticipated fundraising to drag on into 2014. Yet, the greater than expected turnout for the wine tasting meant that, with an additional $6,000 from reserves, the Goodnow Library Foundation could complete the project now.

Total cost of work already done and items on order came to some $93,000.

Kat Liddle, Children’s librarian, says the improvements already have proved extremely popular. “Patrons, parents and most importantly children, are thrilled to have more space, comfy seating, a warmer, more welcoming environment and better access to the materials they want… the work has clearly paid off!”

Everything on order should arrive and be in place shortly after the new year. The library is planning an open house to show off the ‘new’ Children’s Room as soon as the finishing touches are added.

The announcement of the success of the Children’s Room project caps a year of achievement for the foundation.

In July, the foundation held a ceremony to mark the restoration of Sudbury’s Civil War monument in front of the Goodnow. The foundation managed the project, which included landscaping and lighting, after receiving a donation from John Rogers Bradshaw, a former resident. In August, the foundation purchased ten iPads for the library as part of its drive to update technology.

“Of course, it’s not like our work is finished,” said Barbara Pryor, foundation president.

“We want to raise money to create an inviting community space on the first floor, where people can gather, read, relax, and drink coffee. We also have to raise money for an endowment. We are one of the few libraries in the Boston area that does not have an endowment, which is very important to providing for future needs of the library.”

Categories: Children