Volunteers, bidders step in to help library

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Presentation by Marisol Dorantes
Story by Jessica McGregor
Entirely East Lansing staff writers

EAST LANSING – Community members and their children enjoyed free food, drinks and activities as they bid on items in East Lansing Public Library’s first silent auction.

The auction took place on Friday, April 13.

Years of budget cuts have left the library searching for ways to raise money for upkeep and renovations. Money from the auction will go toward carpeting, electronic resources, programing, the after-school program for teenagers and summer reading, said Children’s Services Assistant Phyllis Thode.

“We did actually have an anonymous donor of $100,000. It really got us on our way to meeting our goal. So it’s just really incredible how the community has come together for this first-ever fundraising event,” said Thode.

Sparty, T. J. Duckett the former Michigan State University running back, Josh White Jr. and the WKAR disk jockey Jody Knol all made appearances at the auction. MSU’s Friendshop volunteers also participated in the auction, providing games and activities for the children who attended the auction.

Friendshop puts on an activity night in the library once a month for children and this month held it on the night of the auction to give children a way to participate and have fun while their parents attended the auction.

The library received good reviews from the attendants.

Auction attendee Arlene Weismantel said, “I think it was a fabulous idea. It brings people from the community into the library for a fun event. People feel good about being here because the library is an integral part of the community so it’s a great time for everyone and it benefits a good cause.”

Vicki Ueberroth, owner of Grand Grillin supplied free samples of her secret recipe chicken and chicken salads while local author Lorri Hathaway poured wine for bidders.

“I think supporting the local libraries is always great. There’s a lot of families who can’t afford to purchase books, and libraries give access to people with lower income and really give people the ability to read lots of books,” said Hathaway

Ueberroth said, “I am in awe. I cannot believe how much the community came out for this and the support they are getting.”

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