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Chester County Press

Kennett Library fundraiser draws capacity audience

10/21/2019 02:22PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

While the vision of the new Kennett Library appeared on the far reaches of imagination for the more than 250 in attendance at the library’s third annual fundraiser on Oct. 17, the festivities at The Stone Barn in Unionville served as a chapter marker that paused from the development of the new facility to raise a little more money and have a lot of fun.

In between silent and live auctions, a cocktail hour, and a lively presentation by guest speaker Victoria Wyeth, the key focus of the event was to continue to whittle away on a capital campaign that once completed, hopes to raise the $15 million needed for the construction of the new 25,000-square-foot facility on East State Street and South Willow Lane in Kennett Square.

Once completed, the new library will replace the current and outdated 11,000-square-foot building, and move the library to a facility that will contain 30-seat classrooms; a multipurpose room; tutor, group and quiet rooms; a 110-seat auditorium with a stage; 37 parking spaces; and offer state-of-the art technology tools, access to information and bigger footprint for the more than 1,000 programs the library offers every year.

While the campaign intends to get between $8 and $10 million from private donations, it’s only one of several other funding sources the library is counting on, which also include state and county grants, library reserves, the projected sale of the current site on West State Street, and more than $3 million in projected support from municipalities that the library serves in its coverage area.

The current campaign stands at $5.3 million, which have included checks totaling as high as $385,000 and $1 million from library supporters. Jeff Yetter, vice president of the library’s board, told the audience that library board members have pledged $235,000 toward the $15 million.

In addition, the library also netted $10,000 from the silent auction at the event.

 “The Glory of the Sea” served as the theme of the event, and gave a few courageous attendees the opportunity to dress in the regalia of seafaring pirates, as guests were treated to their choice of baked salmon, pork tenderloin or a Portabello mushroom entrée. After dinner, former Kennett Square Mayor Leon Spencer moderated a live auction, which was followed by Wyeth’s presentation that took the audience on a journey into the creativity, inspiration and imagination found in the work of her grandfather, Andrew and her uncle, Jamie.

Wyeth recently visited the Kennett Library dressed in full pirate costume, where she read from an edition of “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson that was illustrated by her great grandfather, N.C. Wyeth.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].