Rendition of new library

Rendition of new library
The New Point Roberts Library Out of the Old Julius Firehall

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kids and Colors

This summer at the library, Rose organized a coloring contest in which anyone who wanted to could provide a color version of the black and white version of the proposed new Julius Firehall Library.  Here's what we got (and I say "we" because my 16 y/o granddaughter and I both took on the challenge along with a host of much younger children).  Rose held out a prize and the winners have now been chosen and the prizes awarded.

I did not win nor did my granddaughter, but I think the winners were chosen from that other age group.  I can only hope that the architect and contractor will be informed in their final decisions by these excellent imaginings.  We could use a little bold color in this townlet, I think.

The winners, all summer residents, are Katie Poirier, Saffron Burberry, Sophie Morson, and Emily Ramsay.  With their family's permission, their drawings will be featured on notecards that will be used to raise funds for the new Library.

Much thanks to all four and to all the other kids who joined in with this project!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Busy Week!

On Monday, Ed and I go out to collect the loose change from the 7 outlying change jars.  Then we take it to the bank for sorting and counting.  On Tuesday, I update Facebook, and this blog and, if it's the end of the month, the APB Community Page for the Friends.  On Wednesday, Jean and I write thank-you letters for gifts received last week and we check in with Louise to get the next funding pages.  On Thursday, I meet with Jean, this week to talk about recent fund-raising suggestions and offers from friends of the Library and the Library Building Fund.  On Friday, I check back with Sterling to see what the current total is ($1,085) and there are many bags and jars and boxes of coins still waiting to be counted.  Also, I communicate with the APB about having a regular column in the monthly paper, which will work if they have space, and Pat suggests putting in a regular graph to let people know how the donations are progressing.  And I write a column for the October paper, if there's room, anyway.  And on Saturday, Ed and I will work on the posters and paraphernalia for the October-November major fundraising event, which involves the International Market.

In the same time, Jean and Louise and Don have their own routines, working on different aspects of forthcoming fundraising projects, coordinating with the Whatcom County Library Foundation in regard to donations, talking to individuals about donations in the future.  And we write dozens of emails back and forth to one another to make sure we all know what's happening.  How could you even begin to do this without the internet, I think?  Telephones?  Really?

None of us has ever done serious fundraising before and we are having a crash learning course.  Every book we've read about fundraising reminds us to keep in touch with our donors, let them know what we are doing, the authors say.  That's what I'm doing right now.

And a couple of other things:  There's going to be a 'Small Art' sale on November 17 hosted by Auntie Pam at her store on Gulf Rd.  She will provide anyone who wants to participate by creating small art (any media) a small canvas (really, quite small, like 2"-3" or so) and then she'll have a party on 11/17 at her shop and they'll all be for sale with the proceeds going to the Library Building Fund.  I asked her to hold a tiny canvas for me; you might want to pick one up for you next time you're near there.

And also: Remember the new Matching Fund?  The five $1,000 gifts to be matched by ten $500 donations?  We have five matchers already!   And six more weeks left for another five to reveal themselves.  Then we will be $10,000 closer to our goal.

Keep talking to us with your ideas and thoughts about how we can do better.  We're making this library happen together!  We're at $59,000 in total donations received, and $7,000 more at least in pledges and checks on their way to us.  And also, it's not raining yet....

---Judy Ross

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Last Week, This Week

Four items to report:

1.  As I hope you have heard by now, we made the $20,000 matching gift that was available in July and August: it was made by gifts large and small, which may be the best part of it in addition to our not losing any of that gift.  These donations included contributions or purchases (quilts, bookmarks, knit goods) from a few dollars to $300 at the library or the Saturday Markets or the Arts and Music Festival, contributions from sponsored events ranging from $30 to $300-$400, individual gifts of from $100-$5,000: big and little, they all got together to add up to $20,000.  Which makes the current (unofficial) total (as of Sept 1) $55,000.  That is about 11% of the journey we have to make and we are glad to be making this trip together.  I think we can look forward to $100,000 within our first year of fundraising, but it's going to take a lot of continuous work.  We know you'll be with us as we keep on keeping on.

2.  September is "Great Change Month," in which we urge everyone to take their jars, bags, piggy banks, whatever full of loose change to Sterling Bank where they will separate U.S. from Canadian coinage, count it, roll it, and permit you to donate it to the Library Building Fund.  There are subsidiary change jars here and there throughout the Point if you're not at Sterling when they're open: the Library, TSB shipping, Neilsen's, the Chandlery at the marina, Larry's Liquor Locker, Blue Heron, and Auntie Pam's Store.  When I stopped into Sterling on Monday, they said they had received many pounds of coins already, but didn't have any totals yet.  Keep them coming.  And, if you think about it, when you are at the bank, thank Jane, Heather, Julia, and Sandy for doing all this counting for the new library for us all.  My neighbor Canadians, returning home after the lovely (if short) summer, dropped off three jars for this on their way out: one filled with Canadian pennies, one filled with U.S. pennies, and one filled with mixed silver coins.  It's amazing how heavy coins become when you put them all together in a jar of some size!  And how generous people are when you put them all together in a community of even a little size!

3.  We have received a NEW Matching Gift with different terms from the last one.  Five individuals have each offered $1,000 if ten individuals/couples/families will give $500 each.  Within the first 24 hours, we received three such $500 gifts to the match:  Len Hamm, Annette Hamm, and a third couple who chose to remain anonymous.  Seven more and you will have done it.  Fortunately, we have another 6 weeks to gather in these matching gifts, but if they all come home to the new library fund, we'll then be at $66,000.  It builds fast when everyone gives what they can and sometimes even stretches a bit, as we realize some are surely doing.  If you would like to be one of these seven remaining $500 matchers, contact us at  (that's fop plus r plus the letter l plus the numeral 1.)  Or get a donation card at the library and note that you want to be a matcher on it.

4.  Many people have mentioned to those of us on the fundraising committee that it would be nice if there was some way of making regular donations of smaller amounts to the project.  It won't be like receiving a bill from us each month, but if you keep track of the months as they go by, you can give to the library via the donation button here on the blog.  You can donate this way via credit card or Paypal and the donation goes directly to the Whatcom County Library Foundation, the organization that looks after the donation funds once they are received.  If you have any problem with the donation button, contact Ed Park (who made it happen) at

Enjoy the beginning-of-fall days with these wonderful blue skies, and think of the new library in our future!

--Judy Ross, for Friends of the Point Roberts Library

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not a Nickel to My Name

     There is not a nickel, dime, quarter or penny to be found in our house this morning! Yesterday afternoon Curt and I cleaned out our change stashes and headed for Sterling Savings Bank. We donated all of our change to the new library fund drive - The Great Change Month. Our pockets are a lot lighter and we are feeling good that all that change is going to help create change in our community; a new library. (Thanks to the great crew at Sterling for helping with this project!)
     I hope you will join us by cleaning up your change and depositing it in one of the many jars marked for the library project at local businesses.  You have the whole month of September to do this, but why not get an early start? Both your pockets and your heart will be lighter for it!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Whatta Kid!

As regular readers know, I'm working pretty hard these days on raising funds for renovating the old Julius Firehall and thus turning it into the New Point Roberts Firehall Library.  Today, as I was closing down some activities for the summer fundraising campaign, I was given an envelope containing $31.00.

With the envelope was a note explaining that 11/year-old Jacob Clifford had gone door-to-door in Sunny Point Park on Gulf, asking people to participate in a 50-50 donation draw.  Somebody in Sunny Point got $31 and the other $31 went to the library building fund.  

I'm grateful for every dollar, every quarter that everybody has given us so far and will give us in the future.  But this summer, I have been particularly knocked out by two little girls who ran a lemonade stand to raise money for the library, and now, to Jacob Clifford who thought up and executed the 50-50 donation.

The library of course is building kids every day. The library in my home town probably did more to build me than the school system did, at least for the ten years after I learned to read.  Which is why I'm working to rebuild this library.  But to have kids working to build the library?  I'm impressed by those kids.

What can I say?   Thanks hardly seems enough, but I don't think any of these kids need a tax receipt.  And I don't even have Jacob's address.  So if you see him, if you know him, tell him thanks, from all of us.  

(cross-posted at