UNION COUNTY — The Friends of the Library moved another step forward this week in their efforts to support the renovation of the Union County Carnegie Library with a fundraiser at Grace United Methodist Church.
In June, Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed 81 items in the state budget including $1.25 million allocated to the Union County Carnegie Library for renovations, repairs, and other improvements. The state allocation amounted to more than half the cost of the library’s ongoing renovation efforts.
Representatives of the library, together with the Friends of the Library, then sought the help of State Rep. Mike Anthony, the chairman of the Union County Legislative Delegation, in getting the allocation restored. Anthony and State Sen. Harvey Peeler were able to get the State Legislature to override Haley’s veto and restore the funding.
Even though the state funding was restored, it does not cover the entire cost of the renovations which are estimated to total $2.3 million.
To help raise the balance of the funds, the Friends of the Library are in the process of conducting a series of fundraisers.
One of those fundraisers was the “Bridge & Brunch” event held at Grace United Methodist Church on Thursday.
The event gave participants the option of playing bridge for the prizes donated to the fundraiser by local businesses or not playing and simply enjoying brunch and a time of fellowship.
FOL Hospitality Chairman Judy Caston said the event drew 44 participants and raised $600 which will go toward helping pay for the renovations to the library.
“We had a good turnout, we were very pleased,” Caston said. “This is kicking off the fundraisers we’re planning for the library and it went well.”
Caston said that, for the second year in a row, the winner of the Bridge & Brunch was Jeanette Galloway who she said received the top prize, a painting by Mary Todd Beam donated by McCalls Frame Shop & Gallery. She said the runner-up was Mary Lou Gregory who won another painting donated by McCalls which she was was painted by William McCall himself.
Smaller door prizes donated by local businesses and other supporters of the FOL were also distributed during the event.
Library Director Ben Loftis thanked the Friends of the Library for their efforts to help the library raise the balance of the funds needed for the renovations.
The renovations will include a new entrance and the reopening the library’s original entrance on South Street which hasn’t been used in years; the addition of 1,480 square feet to the library; the completion of its basement; and the cleaning and repair of the roof of its historic section.
Loftis said that the funds allocated by the state should cover the work planned for the main floor including the historic section. He said the balance of the funds to be raised will be used to complete the library basement so that it can be used as meeting and conference room, administrative and office space, and a storage area.