By Judy Ross
As of November 20, we have $515,000 in the bank; we have another $17,000 in matching funds; and we have $8,500 in pledges that are to be paid by the end of the year. That totals $540,500 for the new library, so effectively we’ve met our goal. Over the last month we’ve received a number of generous individual and family donations plus a $1,000 contribution from Banner Bank. Banner gave us $1,000 near the beginning of the fundraising campaign, so we particularly appreciate their renewed generosity in getting us to the end. It is always good to have our local businesses supporting community development.
Are we done? Not exactly. What we have reached is the goal established by our 2012 feasibility study. Inflation has been pretty low but not zero over these past four years, and there are always unknowns when it comes to remodeling/building. Our architect, David King, is working on final plans and when they are done, we will have a final estimate. If there’s a small difference FOPRL’s money and the Park and Recreation District may be able to cover that gap. If there’s a big difference, the district will need to go to a special levy vote in 2016. If there’s a mid-level difference, it may be impractical to use a levy to raise the amount but the district could get a long-term, low-interest state loan to cover the gap.
We will continue raising funds wherever we can until the end of 2015, including collecting pledge checks, having a table and a raffle quilt at the Holiday Craft Faire, being the beneficiary of half of its proceeds (to be shared with the Point Roberts Historical Society) as well as of two concerts Lucy Williams is producing at Trinity Lutheran Church on November 22 and December 20. In addition, we have several funding requests still out that may help us to close the gap a little more.
People here frequently tell me that they never thought we would be able to raise such a large amount. We have done it with a very large number of donations from community members, visitors, local businesses and friends and relatives who all cherish Point Roberts for their own special reasons.
I did a quick count today of every single donation over these four years, from $5 to more than $10,000. There are 1,100. That’s a lot of donations for a place with only 1,300 permanent residents. It’s a very wide and deep support (as demonstrated by the many repeat donations). Those of us who organized the fundraising thank every one of those donors for believing in this project: a new library for the entire community of Point Roberts.