Special Gala Reception at Main Library in Jersey City Kicked Off Major Fundraising Appeal for Major Renovations
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Over 100 people attended the special reception, Wine, Renovations & Song, sponsored by the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc., held on Tuesday evening, June 24, at the Main Library in Jersey City. The reception took place on all four floors, with the Library’s architect, Helena Ruman, on hand to explain the individual renovation projects that are planned throughout the building.
Focusing on a fundraising target of $3 million, Library Director Priscilla Gardner began the reception with acknowledging the many elected and appointed officials that have shown previous support, which has included capital improvement funding from the City of Jersey City and grant funding from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund for the replacement of energy-inefficient and historically incorrect aluminum windows with ones made of wood that are energy-efficient and historically correct.
In attendance: Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea (District 2); representing Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop – Deputy Mayor Vivian Brady-Phillips and Chief of Staff Muhammed Akil; Council President Rolando R. Lavarro Jr.; Councilwoman At Large Joyce Watterman; Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano; Ward F Councilwoman Diane Coleman; and Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools Dr. Marcia V. Lyles. Sending regrets, but wanting to be there: NJ State Senator Sandra B. Cunningham (D-31st LD), Councilman At Large Daniel Rivera, Ward B Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal, and Ward D Councilman Michael Yun. Missing: Ward E Councilwoman Candice Osborne confirmed, yet didn’t arrive, and Ward A Councilman Frank Gajewski did not respond at all.
Major donors will be acknowledged with their names on a donation tree in the Main Library lobby when the renovations are completed.
And, this fundraising reception was just the start. By going to the Library homepage, www.jclibrary.org, you can scroll down to the web link to the Library’s page on GoFundMe.com, where you can help contribute to the ongoing major fundraising appeal by the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc. on behalf of the proposed renovations to the Main Library for disabled accessibility and to provide the museum-quality, climate-controlled stacks necessary to store and preserve the New Jersey Room's priceless historic documents and maps.
Use of crowdfunding was the idea of Library Foundation trustee Alma Burnett, which will encourage everyone who cares about refurbishing and retrofitting the historic Main Library. The first GoFundMe.com donation came from library employee Cynthia Raysor-Hall, a librarian in the Reference Department, whose online donation of $200 was the first toward the goal of $3 million.
“For too many years, retrofitting the Main Library for disabled compliance was put on the back burner,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner, who also serves as the Library Foundation’s executive director. “Now is the time to make sure this building of over 100 years will stand the test of time and welcome the next century of library patrons, no matter one’s physical ability.”
The Wine, Renovations & Song reception launched the major fundraising appeal to renovate the Main Library for disabled accessibility and other capital improvements. Please go to the library website, wwwjclibrary.org, and scroll down to the GoFundMe.com link to donate. Thank you!
FILL ‘ER UP! – The donations box created by the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc. has been steadily getting filled with cash and checks to help fund the proposed renovations on the Main Library in Jersey City.
SIGN OF THE TIMES – The Bonetti Children’s Room at the Main Library served as the reception area for the Library Foundation fundraiser, Wine, Renovations & Song, and its staff created a bulletin board that welcomed everyone who entered.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DRINK? – Library staff members served the attendees at the Wine, Renovations & Song reception, and three of the four are seen during set up. Pictured: Jonathan Pasco, MIS Department; Francina Stevens, manager, Bonetti Children’s Room; and Deyana Hopson (back to camera), Bonetti Children’s Room. Not pictured: Ralph Artiles, assistant manager, MIS Department.
LOOK! LOOK! – Library Director Priscilla Gardner seems pleased with something, as she points off to the right, with Library Foundation Treasurer Joseph Panepinto Jr. looking just as pleased. Director Gardner also serves as the executive director of the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.
LOOKIN' FINE - Dressed in their finery after having worked for weeks, preparing for the Wine, Renovations & Song fundraising reception, (L to R) [Donna McMichael,Teresa Fairley, Library Director Priscilla Gardner; Larry Ross, Carolyn Armour ] strike a well-deserved pose.
WINE, RENOVATIONS & SONG – The crowd at the fundraiser reception, which totaled 100, listened to the various speakers who were called up to the podium, supporters of the Jersey City Free Public Library. Second from left is Deputy Mayor Vivian Brady-Phillips, and in the center, with hand outstretched, is Chief of Staff Muhammed Akil, who both represented Jersey City Mayor Fulop.
THE MAIN INGREDIENT: FUNDING NEEDED – As Library Board Vice President Dr. Charles T. Epps Jr. says a few words regarding how necessary are the Main Library renovations, (L to R) Library Foundation Treasurer Joseph Panepinto Jr., Library Director Priscilla Gardner, Library Foundation Chairman Michael A. Ryan and Library Board President Sondra E. Buesing Riley look on.
THE EXPLANATION – Helena Ruman, AIA, PE, holds up the presentation boards of the architectural plans to the Main Library renovations with Library Director Priscilla Gardner, during the Wine, Renovations & Song fundraiser in Jersey City on Tuesday evening, June 24, 2014. Library Foundation Treasurer Joseph Panepinto Jr., along with Library Board President Sondra E. Buesing Riley and her husband, stand in rapt attention.
… & SONG – The Renaissance Classical Brass Ensemble performed at the Wine, Renovations & Song fundraising reception, standing next to the exquisite Tiffany stained glass window that is in need of restoration, on the first-floor staircase landing at the Main Library in Jersey City.
A MAJESTIC ENTRANCE – The balloons in the foreground can’t mask the grandeur of the wrought iron banister that graces the marble staircase that winds upwards, culminating at the fourth floor in Jersey City’s Main Library. The Wine, Renovations & Song reception launched a major fundraising appeal to renovate the Main Library for disabled accessibility and other capital improvements. Please go to the library website, wwwjclibrary.org, and scroll down to the GoFundMe.com link to donate. Thank you!
LIBRARY TREASURES – NJ Room manager Cynthia Harris holds one of the local history archival documents that need to be housed in the new museum-quality, climate-controlled stacks building. Assistant manager John Beekman stands to the left (back), with Library Board member Curtis Harris (glasses), to the left (foreground).