Friends of the Point Roberts Library



The year began with fundraising totals of $100,000 and ended with over $300,000: a very successful year and one in which we reached a total that now makes our going to foundations and government agencies for help with this capital project a viable strategy.

We began 2013 with the P.R. Quilters Group carrying out a February Fiber Arts Festival to benefit the new library.  In the next month, we produced a mailing to all the households in Point Roberts reporting on our achievements in the first year and inviting them to participate or to continue to participate in 2013’s fundraising efforts.

We received in the spring a substantial contingent donation:  the donor agreed to match every $10,000 donation we could raise in new money, up to $100,000.  Within a few months, we were able to solicit such donations from two businesses (Can Am Petroleum and Westshore Terminals) and five families, which provided, with the match, almost half of this year’s total donations.

The summer saw a campaign in which we asked residents and visitors to each donate $20 to the library, with every $20 donation matched by a separate matching fund.  Over 400 individual donations were received in this way, accounting (with the match) for another $16,000 of the year’s total.

The summer also saw a series of events, including the fundraising committee hosting sales tables at the weekly Saturday Market (selling crafts, fresh produce, baked goods, and yard sale items); a second all-household mailing; two quilt raffles; sales tables at the July 4th Parade and the Annual Arts and Music Festival; a Latin Jazz Concert; and a series of outdoor movie nights.

In the fall, we hosted a Thank You! Ice Cream and Cake Party for local residents and visitors, a Silent Auction, a classical music concert, and an All Point Indoor Yard Sale.  We instituted the ‘Engraved Paver’ campaign, whereby contributors could have their names on pavers in the new library courtyard with donations of $500, $1,000, and $5,000.  

In December, we again had a table at the P.R. Arts and Crafts Fair where we sold donated goods from local artists and crafters and Christmas Library Gift Donation cards.  We finished the year with the International Marketplace (our local grocery store) conducting a ‘Round-Up’ event, where customers were invited to round up their grocery bills to the nearest dollar thereby donating to the library fundraising, while the Marketplace itself offered to match that Round-Up total to $2,500.  All donations from U.S. Thanksgiving to the end of 2013 were matched by a final matching fund of $20,000 contributed by an anonymous donor.

Although we had relatively little business participation in this project in 2012, in 2013 we reached a total of 30 business contributors (ranging from gifts of $50 to $10,000), as well as contributions from 9 local organizations.  Neilson’s Building Center was particularly active in arranging events that would benefit the new Library, including a big Bird Seed sale, a Christmas tree sale, and the International Belt Sander Races, which was held in July.

For the two years of fundraising, we now have over 800 unique, identified donors.  In addition, many more have donated in various ways, leaving cash but no names in change jars, in the ‘Great Change’ event (in 2012, in which Sterling Bank took in all the change people brought them for the new library project), and in the library itself where $10 and $20 bills with no name attached regularly appeared in the library donation container.  

We are extremely grateful to all the people who gave time, energy, and products to this effort, who contributed money, and who advised and helped to organize our work.  We are especially grateful to the Whatcom County Library Foundation which has provided us with 501(c)(3) status through the Foundation while we received our own 501(c)(3) status via the IRS.  We applied in April and received final approval in December of 2013, and retroactive to April 2013.

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












Friends of the Point Roberts Library

The Friends of the Point Roberts Library (FOPRL) is currently raising money to renovate the Julius Firehall (next door to the Community Center) in order to provide the Point with a 21st Century library. When completed, the library will grow from 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet, and have expanded public computer availability, additional seating space for readers of all ages, a small meeting room, and a patio. The goal is to raise $500,000. That’s the equivalent of 500 donations of $1,000 each. We think that it can be done with everyone’s help.

The sub-committee responsible for the fund-raising includes Jean Barrington (Chairperson), Mark Robbins, Kris LoMedico, Louise Cassidy, Dorothy Sutton, Don Falk, and Judy Ross. And, we hope, pretty much everybody else in Point Roberts, in one way or another.  It takes a community to build a library, and it takes a library to build a community.  We’re working on both fronts.

As of July 15, 2012, we have raised $28,000. We have a matching grant of $20,000 that will run through the last day of August.

We plan to use this page, generously provided by the All Point Bulletin, to keep its readers informed in brief reports of our progress, our events, and our needs.  Currently, Brewsters’ is sponsoring a series of ‘Movie Nights on the Lawn’ with admission to the movie being a donation to the Library Building Fund. The next movie nights are July 28, August 11, and August 25.  

The Blue Heron and the current Point Roberts Library (in the Community Center) have handmade, quilted bookmarks available for those who donate $10: a nice gift for yourself or someone you know while at the same time supporting the library. Other events are being planned for the summer and beyond.  And, one or more of us will be at the Saturday Market this summer where you can obtain more information about how to donate.  Also, check out the “Showers of Gold” quilt in the hallway of the Community Center where we’re keeping track of each thousand dollars worth of donations in quilt form.

If you have suggestions for ways to reach our goal, get in touch with us at the Saturday Market, come to our monthly meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Lutheran Church, or email us at

Also, you can follow our progress on our blog ( or on Facebook, Friends of the Point Roberts Library, Community Page.

To Donate: Make your check payable to Whatcom County Library Foundation, P.R. Building Fund, and mail it to:
    The Friends of the PR Library
    PO Box 970, Point Roberts, WA 98281

You can pick up a donation card at the library or, if you wish to discuss a donation to the Building Fund, contact us at


Current Status:

We begin the New Year with $90,000 in donations and much enthusiasm as a result.  Still, there is yet a long road before us to reach a half million dollars.  The last month of 2012 saw $2500 from the Christmas Craft Fair, $2200 from the International Marketplace grocery receipts campaign, and various individual donations, including several thousand dollar gifts (which went to complete the match for the Mar’s $5,000 matching fund), and a $5,000 anonymous gift from a Point Roberts resident.

Maybe time to catch our breath for awhile.  Except that, there is another $400,000 to raise.  This year we will be looking to bring more local businesses into the ranks of active supporters.  Sterling Bank, the International Marketplace, the Blue Heron, Auntie Pam’s Country Store, and Neilson’s Building Center have been solid financial supporters throughout the last year.  Furthermore, Neilson’s has pledged a $5,000 donation for 2013.  Nielson's plans to fulfill its pledge by staging a series of fund-raising events, including their world-famous belt sander races, and supplementing with a direct donation to top off money raised at the events.  We will be working with other businesses to expand the membership in the Library Diamond Club for Point Roberts Businesses.

And we will be working to expand the base of individual support.  Because of the financial crisis and the resulting very low interest rates, many foundations have cut back on their grant giving, because the money for grants depends on the income from their endowments.  Similarly, government agencies, because of the general financial retrenchment, have significantly reduced their commitments to capital grant giving (as opposed to smaller grants to specific programs/project).  It is critical in appealing to Foundations and Government Agencies that are still willing to consider capital grant requests to be able to show very broad public support. 

Our current support is strong but it is not extremely wide.  It is tempting for people, when they see how well the community fundraising has progressed during this first year, to think, “Oh, well, they’re doing great; they don’t me to add to their totals.”  But the community needs everybody: everybody who uses the library and everybody who has ever used a library.  We need to provide this new library for ourselves and for those who come after us.  And we need to repay our debt to those who made sure we have had a library in Point Roberts for the past 65 years.  It takes a community to build a library.  That is the work of the coming year for all of us.

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

Also, you can follow our progress on our blog or on Facebook, Friends of the Point Roberts Library, Community Page.