by Judy Buettner
library friends of payson president
How great it is! For the past 15 plus years, the Library Friends of Payson have worked diligently, often, it seemed, against insurmountable odds, to find a way to build a new library in Payson.
Finally, the hard work, tenacity and prayers are coming to fruition. The mayor and town council have made building a new library a priority, and the construction process is on track to begin building the 16,000-square-foot building at Rumsey Park this fall.
The goal of the Library Friends has changed from trying to raise seed money for a new building with the "Foot-by-Foot" program to furnishing and equipping the new library with everything not part of the construction such as shelves, computers, books, desks, chairs, etc.
In the past two years, our fund-raising efforts have been very successful, with (the help of) several substantial grants, our annual Mayor's Cup Chefs' Appetizer Competition, other fund-raisers, the support of our local businesses and community leaders and the citizens of Payson. We are very grateful for this continuing support.
We look forward to the new 16,000-square-foot library building. However, we are aware that our growing community and the surrounding area will increase the need for library services. When we have completed our goal to furnish the new library, our goal will change to look to the future expansion of the library. There are many projects we have in mind, including a homework study area, where kids can get homework help, study for GEDs, etc. We will not stop in our efforts to support the library with funds not available from the Town of Payson and Gila County.
Recently, we have been given an opportunity to add money to our building fund as part of a wonderful offer by a Payson couple. For every dollar we receive between now and the end of the year, the amount will be matched, one for one, up to $100,000. What a challenge. What a gift. Now is the time for any and all people, businesses, service organizations and foundations who have considered donating to the Library Friends Building Fund to do so.
Every dollar you give will be matched with another dollar. With this wonderful and generous offer, there is no doubt the Friends will be able to completely furnish and equip the new library with quality equipment and furnishings, and to use any excess money as a springboard to funding the future needs of the Payson Public Library.