The popular A Taste of Rim Country benefit for the Payson Public Library is not taking place this year. Blame progress — the library is under construction to expand its meeting facilities for the community.
Presented by the Library Friends of Payson (LFOP), the celebration of the Rim’s culinary talents has taken place for many years to sold-out crowds.
The benefit is one way the group raises money for costs the library’s budget does not cover. Some proceeds from over the years also went to the LFOP’s building fund, which is financing the expansion construction.
On average, LFOP provides more than $50,000 each year to the Payson Public Library. In 2019, LFOP purchased 1,447 new books, 206 DVDs, and 64 e-books. The Payson library offered 403 programs for the local community, including programs for all ages — from 6-month-old infants to teens to active seniors. A total of 6,836 people attended these programs. The Town of Payson does not pay for the purchase of new books, new movies or supplies for various library programs.
To help bridge the gap created with no Taste of Rim event, there are plans for a special program in the spring.
The Payson Woman’s Club has given permission to David Grassé, assistant library for the Payson Public Library, to conduct tours at the Payson Pioneer Cemetery this April to raise money.
The program will start with one tour, with an option for two more if it proves popular.
Most recently, LFOP funded the $500,000 expansion to the library that will provide much needed room for community meetings and activities.
The 2,000-square-foot addition results from efforts by LFOP to build a nest egg for the project starting in 2001. The foundation of the nest egg was from funds remaining after the group had paid for chairs, tables, computers, shelving, etc. inside the then-newly constructed library at 328 N. McLane Road in Rumsey Park.
They raised the money over several years and what remained after these purchases was invested in the stock market and in the years since 2001 that money has grown considerably. The group designated the money for a building fund.
In April 2018, LFOP was notified that it had been chosen as a beneficiary of Arlene Kowalski’s estate. That bequest was for $100,000 in cash, with additional funds coming from the sale of Kowalski’s properties. LFOP put the donations from the Kowalski estate in the building fund, along with the funds that had been earning dividends and interest.
The expansion of the library’s meeting room will make it possible to accommodate between 150 and 200 people at one time. The current meeting room has a capacity of about 80 — standing up — and about 70 seated.
The concept for the addition includes having a divider, instead of a fixed wall, which could be used between the existing meeting room and the new meeting room, thus offering more usage with the space. There is already a divider in the existing meeting room, and that can be used to divide the space into two smaller meeting rooms. With this idea in mind, the library could have the option of three meeting rooms, two meeting rooms, or one large meeting room, as needed.
Construction of the new addition does not impact regular use of the library, however it restricts use of the meeting room. As part of A Taste of Rim Country, the meeting room housed silent auction items that contributed to the event’s success as a benefit.
They anticipate work on the addition will conclude in the spring and when it is ready for occupancy a grand opening ceremony is planned.
LFOP also makes it possible for Rim residents and visitors to provide support for the library through its Sponsorship Program. The program has 22 participants contributing different levels of funding.
Sponsorships are available at four levels: Platinum, for a donation of $1,000 or more; Gold, $500 to $1,000; Silver, donations from $250 to $500; and Bronze, $100 to $250.
Sponsors are recognized with posters and plaques inside the library, as well as being listed in the LFOP newsletter, Among Friends, in press releases, and on the Library Friends’ website and Facebook page. Sponsors also receive a one-year complimentary LFOP membership.
Library programs offered educate, inform, enrich, entertain and inspire our patrons, according to LFOP. Everyone who helps sponsor these programs is a part of this successful effort. It is important to remember that every story time, every reading incentive, every creative project, every cooking or music class, and every lecture provide a positive benefit to those who take part.
The library is the centerpiece of the Rim Country community and provides a welcoming environment to relax, visit with friends, do research, play video games, or check out the latest hit movie or bestselling novel.
Please stop by the circulation desk and pick up a sponsor packet or contact Linda Lanctot at 928-472-9160, for more information on how to participate in the sponsorship program.
For more information about the Library Friends of Payson and the programs the group supports visit http://www.libraryfriendsofpayson.org and follow us on Facebook (Library Friends of Payson, Inc).