Archive for the ‘Charitable Giving’ Category


More about our door!

October 11, 2012

Artist Kent Parks painting of our library door…prior to its last move!

Beautifully painted by local artist Kent Parks in 2005, the watercolor to your left depicts the library’s entry from 1983 to 2010.  The library now owns this painting and you can see it hanging in the hall on the way to the FCCU Community Room.  Come and see it in person!  It’s not to be missed!

From 1916 to 1983, the library’s entrance was situated at an angle at the corner of East Milwaukee and Merchants Avenues.

Due to the historic nature of the grand terra cotta pieces which include the columns and the carved stone naming the Dwight Foster Pvblic Library, the entrance has actually been preserved and moved twice.

In 1983 the entrance was moved down Merchants Avenue to approximately where the painting is now hanging.   The ledge to the right was the entrance floor from 1983 until 2010.

As a part of the library’s 2010 renovation, the entry was moved further down Merchants Avenue to offer a grade level entrance which was considered essential to making the library accessible to all.

For the second time, the terra cotta  was painstakingly disassembled, labeled, cleaned, stored, and finally reassembled at the current entrance location.

Generous donations to the capital campaign made it possible to preserve this important historical feature.  As a result, the terra cotta still stands today serving to welcome all who enter nearly 100 years after its original construction.


Smile and the world smiles with you…or at least the library staff does

March 11, 2011

Syd and Marguerite Boyer (Photo courtesy of Ryan Whisner of the Daily Jefferson County Union)

I was looking through the photos from our donor sneak preview event and thought this was a perfect one to share.  Two of my favorite people are here, posing outside the study room named after them.   Look at their smiles!   They are smiling because they are happy about the library expansion.   They are smiling because they are pleased they were able to contribute funds to help our project in a significant way.  They are smiling because they have a study room named in their honor.  They are smiling because that’s what they do.  They have come in to our library, year after year, and spread sunshine beyond measure to our staff.  Many times they even bring chocolate along with their smiles.

I can’t tell you how important those smiles have been, particularly over the last year which has been exhausting in so many ways for our library staff.

The appreciation on the part of the Boyers and all the others who come in and say “thank you” or “this library is very special” or “we are so lucky” is an unbelievable source of inspiration.  And, quite frankly, much needed right now.

Syd and Marguerite have shown us how to live, with laughter and generosity, with appreciation and interest, with chocolate and smiles.   How lucky we are to know them!


Last call for the wall

September 12, 2010

There are obvious signs this building project is marching toward completion.   For one thing, the terra cotta has been reinstalled.  For another, the windows are in.   We are now talking furniture and landscaping and bike racks.

And having detailed discussions about the design and layout of the donor wall.

I know there may be people who are thinking they want to donate to the library’s Foster Growth capital campaign but will do so…later.   I can relate;  that procrastination thing happens to me a lot.  Therefore I wanted to be sure to let folks know that we are in the beginning stage of creating our donor wall.  We have set a November 15th deadline for having a name listed on the wall.  Mind you we will never not accept a donation.  (And donations are still needed and appreciated no matter when they happen.)   But there will be a time when it will be too late for a name to be incorporated into the library’s beautiful donor recognition piece.  All gifts of $500 or more will be named on our capital campaign donor wall.  

It’s easy to donate.  Simply click here (select the library fund) and pay by credit card!   Or mail us a check.  Or stop by and fill out a pledge card.   We’re flexible.  (But our deadline’s not.)


Some things are meant to be

August 2, 2010

You know it’s a really good match between the prize and the winner when you arrive to give away the library’s raffle grand prize of the Milwaukee Brewers luxury suite package and you see that the recipient has a wall of Brewers’ bobbleheads to select from to bring along to the photo op.

Scott Lastusky, head of the city of Fort Atkinson’s Parks and Recreation Department, won the grand prize in Saturday’s raffle drawing at the Farmer’s Market.

Raffle winner Scott Lastusky posing with one of his Brewers' bobbleheads

When I drew his name from the bucket, I knew instantly that the winner would not only make good use of the tickets, but he’d also be appreciative and excited.   He was still smiling two days after I’d called him to tell him the good news.

The Brewer’s package was generously donated by David and Julia Uihlein.  We are incredibly grateful for the donation because it was the grand prize in our raffle and allowed us to sell tickets to raise money for our library’s capital campaign.

The package included 14 tickets, food, and parking.  Scott tells me that he’s not *exactly* sure who he’ll invite to the game yet.   Perhaps people will have to write an essay.  Or maybe they can report how many Brewer’s bobbleheads they own.  He could challenge them to a batting competition.  Who knows what Scott might decide!

We sure hope he and his party have a wonderful night at the ballpark, compliments of David and Julia Uihlein and the Dwight Foster Public Library’s Foster Growth capital campaign.

Thank you to all the merchants and individuals who donated prizes to the raffle and all the people who bought tickets.   Even though this was our last official capital campaign fundraising event, I should mention it’s certainly not too late to donate.  We are still taking donations for our project and sincerely appreciate every dollar that is given!


You *might* be smarter than a 5th grader…

February 3, 2010
But then again, 5th graders  are pretty smart! 
Hmmmm, Mary who?

And so are the Fort Atkinson high school students who put together a fantastic fundraiser for our library’s expansion and renovation project.  Linda Straub’s class organized an event based on the theme from the television show Are you smarter than a fifth grader.  The administrators from a variety of schools in Fort Atkinson battled each other and a group of fifth graders during an evening filled with many laughs.  (There is nothing quite like watching an educated educator overanalyze a second grade question.)

The night was expertly emceed by high school principal, Jeff Zaspel, with witty remarks and obvious rapport.  All the contestants did a superb job of having fun, showing off their smarts, and helping our library raise money to make the building project a reality. I’ll admit to knowing some of the answers, but not all.  I do have to say I knew the answer to the Mary Mary Quite Contrary question.  I am, after all, a former children’s librarian.  It was all I could do not to shout out “pretty maids” in my desire to help out the team that was brave enough to wear cheerleaders’  jackets.

Many thanks to Mrs. Straub’s students, Mrs. Straub, and all the principals and students who participated.  To everyone who had a hand in making this event such a success, I offer a very sincere thank you.


Give a gift that lasts

December 23, 2009

The following was written by Dr. James Fitzpatrick, chair of the library’s Foster Growth capital campaign.  It appeared in the Daily Jefferson County Union’s  “At the library” column on Monday, December 21, 2009.

A Lasting Christmas Gift to the Community by Dr. James Fitzpatrick, capital campaign chair

As the holiday season is upon us we are pleased to inform citizens that our Dwight Foster capital campaign has gone well.  The plan calls for an expansion of 12,000 square feet along with the renovation of our current space.  As we get closer to the construction phase it is critical that we have the donations needed to move forward.  Our library is one of our crown jewels in this community and we are excited to make it even more so.

In this the holiday season, we would like to ask citizens to consider a donation to our Foster Growth capital campaign.  Such a gift will have a long lasting impact that will benefit people of all ages for many years to come.    The holidays are a perfect time to think about giving.  Please consider a charitable contribution to a cause that will help ensure excellent library services for our community for now…and for those who follow. You may make your gift in memory or honor of someone special in your life.  We’ve even had a donation in honor of Fort Atkinson High School’s class of 1964.  What a great way to pay tribute! We cannot express adequately in words our thanks to so many who have already given generously to this most worthy cause.  And we’d love nothing more than to add you to the list of people who have given to help us improve our library.

There is still time to make your donation by making out a check to the FACF Library Fund and send it in care of Connie Meyer, Director, Dwight Foster Public Library, 102 E. Milwaukee Avenue, Fort Atkinson, WI, 53538.  If you prefer, you may drop off your gift at the library or donate online with your credit card.  Online donations are made through the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation’s website here.

Happiest of holidays to each of you and thank you for considering helping us foster growth in Fort Atkinson.


Magical musical moment

November 19, 2009

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  Instead of my usual thousand words, I thought I’d keep the words to a minimum and share this incredible photograph courtesy of professional photographer, Lori Compas.  Lori was at our music night at the museum fundraiser and captured some of the magic with her camera.  You can’t hear the beautiful music, but you can see the intensity on Bill Camplin’s face here.  Bill, Satchel, and Randy each demonstrated their unique talents.  Their outstanding performances, varied musical selections, and rapport with the audience made for a show I will never forget.  I had goosebumps.

Thank you to Bill, Satchel, and Randy for sharing their talents with our library.  The fundraiser was successful beyond anyone’s expectations.  We raised over $4,500 for the library’s Foster Growth building fund.

Thank you to the staff of the Cafe Carpe, Pat Belt, Maria Perez-Hametta, Kori Oberle, the museum staff…and all the other kind people who helped.   We are grateful to those who donated prizes for the raffle and everyone who bought tickets to the raffle and for the event.

Left to right: Randy Sabien, Bill Camplin, Satchel Paige


Let me be perfectly clear…

October 29, 2009

In September, I sent an email to library staff members with the following subject line:  Thank you but…no more donations.

It wasn’t more than a few minutes and someone said to me, “Wow, the fundraising is over?”

What?  “Where in the world did you get that idea?”

“From your email,” was the reply.  “I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but your subject line indicated we don’t need any more donations.”

Oh my!  That’s not what I meant to say at all!

Here we are in the middle of a capital campaign, trying to raise a large amount of money for our library expansion and renovation project and I was sending an email with the headline announcing we didn’t want any more donations.  What in the world was I thinking?

Well, I wasn’t thinking of course.

We DO want donations.  We need donations.  We can’t do this project without donations.

This was a glaring example of the need to write a better headline.  (It’s also an example of the need to read beyond the headlines if there ever was one.)  Staff needed to read the entire email.   In the body of the email  I was alerting them to the fact that we need to officially stop taking gifts of books and magazines.  People have always been very generous and regularly bring us bags and boxes full of books, DVDs, videos, music CDs, and magazines.   Occasionally we put items in our library’s collection; usually our Friends of the Library takes the items and sells them in our book sales.  Either way the library benefits.   We’ve always greatly appreciated the donations.

However, we are now in the position of cleaning house in preparation for our building project.  We cannot pay to move and store used books so we must make sure they are all out of the facility before Spring.  We will be having increasingly aggressively priced  book sales leading up to our move.  But we do need to call a moratorium on accepting additional materials at this time so we can cope with what we have.  At this time we need to say thank you, but no thank you, to donations of physical items.  So let me be clear.  The moratorium is on the donations of materials.  We don’t have a similar problem with monetary donations.  The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation has plenty of storage capacity for donations to our library fund!  (Did you ever notice how little space money actually requires?)

Anyway, that’s what I meant to say.

I guess it’s good that I had such a wildly inappropriate subject line for my staff email.  It taught me to pay more attention when writing future communications.  Notice the headline of this post has been more carefully crafted; it’s nice and vague.

In life, often times we aren’t lucky enough to get a do-over.   The pink pearl eraser simply doesn’t fix it.  In that case, what you can do is analyze just where you went wrong.   That way you can make a different mistake next time!


Music to our ears

October 17, 2009

Pat Belt, chair of special events for our Foster Growth capital campaign has done an incredible job planning a variety of activities that are helping us raise money for our expansion and renovation.  We’ve had a chili-fest, a brat-fest, T-shirt sales, and collection cans at local businesses.  She and her team of people have been selling Foster Growth T-shirts, candy bars, and our library cooRandySabienkbooks at the Farmer’s Market and beyond.

Our next special event on Friday, November 13th promises to be very special indeed.  A Musical night at the Museum will showcase jazz violionist Randy Sabien accompanying Bill Camplin and will also feature Satchel Paige Welch.  We are just thrilled to be able to offer such a fine group of musicians to Fort Atkinson’s music-loving crowd.  Hors d’oeuvres and wine will be included in the ticket price  of $35 and all proceeds will benefit our library project.

We are grateful to Bill, Satchel, and Randy…and, of course, Pat who made the arrangements as well as her crew and the staff of the Hoard Historical Museum.  When Pat told us of the event, we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be able to host such a quality show.   Randy, an incredible musician and performer, has been hailed by the Christian Science Monitor, the USA Today, and many other publications.  You can hear a sample of him at his website. Bill is a legend himself and his son, Satchel, an exciting young performer.  Tickets are available at the library and at the Cafe Carpe.  The Hoard Historical Museum is located at 401 Whitewater Avenue in Fort Atkinson.

We hope you join us.   It’ll be music to our ears…and yours!


A “salt of the earth” business proves it

October 4, 2009

Vince Kent of Abendroth Water Conditioning is the chair of the business division for our Foster Growth capital campaign.  He’s a “salt of the earth”  kind of guy (in more ways than one) and we were delighted when he agreed to step up to the plate and join our campaign.  He’s been instrumental in asking businesses throughout our community to support our fundraising effort.   He’s got great ideas, including one he’s using in his own business.  He’s donating a portion of all the water softener salt sales of his business throughout our building project.     We are so very grateful for his generosity with his time and expertise as well as his financial commitment to our library.

If you’d like to help our library, please consider buying your salt from Abendroth Water Conditioning.    If you’re a business, don’t hesitate to contact Vince to discuss innovative ways you too can help.  We’d sure appreciate your support.  All donations of $500 or more receive a place on our donor wall…which will provide long-lasting recognition for your business, your family, or yourself.

We have some great Foster Growth T-shirts and hoodies for sale at the library and the farmer’s market.  But maybe we should think about adding a few of these to our line!  (Not exactly the right type of salt, but definitely the right idea!)

%d bloggers like this: