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Room to Read gets private boost: Friday benefit set at senior center

Organizers of the Room to Read campaign are making advancements toward raising $200,000 in the local community to add 4,000 square feet of space to The Dalles-Wasco County Public Library to house sections for children and young adults and are hoping a benefit event this Friday will help the cause.

“We need to raise $200,000 in the community to show local support so we can go out for major grants,” said Corliss Marsh of the Room to Read campaign. The project has the potential to gain a major push from a local family that has agreed to donate half of the $200,000, if the campaign committee can raise the rest from small, local donations.

“I think $100,000 is very doable,” Marsh said.

That figure has been winnowed down to less than $60,000. Since it started last fall, the fundraising committee has collected more than $40,000 in donations.

The $1.2 million library expansion would move the active and often noisy children’s section out of the center of the library into 2,000 square feet of ground-level space that will be created at the east end of the library. Another 2,000 square feet on the second story will be dedicated space for young adults.

“The children really need their own space,” Marsh said. “That way, there will be room for everyone.”

She noted that it has been 15 years since the mezzanine was added to the library.

Supporters are hoping the Friday Night Out library benefit and auction this Friday, May 3, will provide another big push. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the 21 and older event are $20, available at Klindt’s Booksellers, the library and the door at Mid-Columbia Senior Center. The event will include pizza from all six local pizza restaurants, desserts by local bakers and local wine, beer and other beverages. Live music is also planned for the event.

The auction will include Oregon State University collectibles, including a vintage Benny the Beaver hat circa 1947, a vintage mini-OSU banner, and a real rarity, an Oregon State freshman beanie from the 1940s. Autographed books by Ken Kesey and Arthur C. Clark, and passes to a variety of regional attractions are also up for auction. A hand-made quilt and glass works by artist Andy Nichols are also on the block.

Donations directly to the project are tax-deductible and provide a match for Oregon Cultural Trust donations. Envelopes for donations can be mailed to The Dalles-Wasco County Library Foundation, 722, Court St., The Dalles, OR 97058 or may be left at the library. Confidential donation envelopes are available at the library counter.

A concert fundraiser is planned June 1 at The Mint featuring Cal Scott

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