Representatives from the Springfield Library Foundation presented Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the City of Springfield with a check for $500,000 to make good on the first part of the Foundation’s pledge of $2 million to be raised through the Promise Realized Capital Campaign.
“On behalf of our City, I thank the Foundation and its wonderful donors for this generous and substantial investment in our Library,” said Mayor Sarno. “With construction underway, and proceeding on-schedule and on-budget, these funds could not have come at a better time.”
“This contribution is our down payment on the promise made to the people of this City to help create a state of the art branch library in East Forest Park,” said Library Foundation President Patrick Markey. “It is the result of the generosity and faith of donors big and small, young and old and from all parts of this community. We thank everyone for doing their part and making this possible. This is what community is all about.”
Library Director Molly Fogarty was delighted. “As we see the new building rise, we also witness our community coming together in support, and that is wonderful. The positive impact of the new building on residents will be immeasurable and we are grateful to everyone who has contributed.” According to Fogarty, the new library is expected to be a “model for the future.”
Ground was broken last month on the planned 17,000 square foot building on Surrey Road, which will provide a permanent home for the East Forest Park Branch Library. The new facility will offer a Family and Children’s area, dedicated Teen area, a Maker Space lab, a large community meeting room, quiet study rooms, dozens of computer stations, book and media collections, an outdoor patio and reading garden, and ample parking spaces with easy access to the building. The new library will be completely accessible and also be connected to the nearby Mary A. Dryden Veterans Memorial School via a special path for children.
To date, the Promise Realized Campaign has raised close to $1.1 million from over 100 unique donors. “We’ve made great progress but there is still much work to be done,” said Campaign Director Matt Blumenfeld. “There are great donor stories here full of warmth and caring. We have seen families join together to coalesce a family gift, and major businesses, like MassMutual, PeoplesBank and the Chicopee Savings Charitable Foundation step up to invest in what they see as a critical neighborhood revitalization project.”
Mayor Sarno, an early donor to the campaign, encouraged everyone to consider making a contribution. “As we turn our attention to the holidays, friends, and families, this is also a time to think about helping others and giving back. The Promise Realized Campaign offers a wonderful opportunity to do so, to leave a legacy to our children and grandchildren. This project, funded by City, State and private donors, is a testament to the resiliency and promise of Springfield, and I hope everyone will take advantage and give generously.”
The Promise Realized Campaign is scheduled to run through the end of 2019, when the new branch will be opened. The campaign is designed to accept gifts and pledges that may be made for up to five years. This enables donors to give more and to potentially be eligible to name a room or area in the new library. Many donors have been excited to learn that their gifts have been doubled thanks to a $250,000 challenge grant that the Library Foundation issued earlier this year. There is still about $100,000 eligible for matching. To learn more, visit here.
About the Springfield Library Foundation
The Springfield Library Foundation was formed in 2005 and is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, not-for-profit corporation organized and operated exclusively for the benefit of the Springfield City Library. The Foundation has two primary purposes:
- To responsibly steward and manage endowed and other funds entrusted to the Foundation’s care by donors going back more than a century.
- To encourage philanthropy and raise new funds, both restricted and unrestricted, in support of the Library’s programs, materials, services, and facilities.
Fulfilling these two purposes will enrich the lives of every library patron, and ensure that Springfield’s library system remains vibrant and responsive to community needs. To learn more, click here.