May 18, 2019

All Aboard! Launches Essex Library 21st Century Campaign

All Aboard! attendees (from left) Dave and Judy Kelsey, and Joan and Bill Reichenbach

A great evening for a great cause, the recent Friends of Essex Library’s gala benefit,  All Aboard!, put the “fun” in fundraising. Partiers “rode the rails” on the Essex Steam Train to the Lace Factory in Deep River. There, they enjoyed cocktails, delicious finger foods provided by Andrea Isaacs of Cloud Nine Catering, and participated in a very entertaining live auction, with items that included an aerial tour of the Connecticut River Valley donated by pilot Captain Tom Walsh, a sectional sofa donated by Bob’s Discount Furniture, and a resort stay in Cozumel donated by Diane and Robert Gates.

The kick-off of the second phase of the 21st Century Campaign, the event raised much-needed funds for the Essex Library, which as an association library is primarily funded by memberships, donations, and an endowment.  Board member and Chairman of the 21st Century Campaign, Dick Buel, explains, “The endowment is a major source of support for the Library. The recent economic downturn exposed some weaknesses in the endowment. The 21st Century Campaign was launched to increase the endowment by approximately $2 million.   This will allow the Library to maintain its present level of service to the community — for current residents, which involves 67,000 patron visits annually – and for future generations.”   

Revelers at the recent All Aboard! fund-raiser for the Essex Library arrive via Essex Steam Train at the Lace Factory in Deep River.

The Honorary Chair of the 21st Century Campaign is Anne “Boo” Penniman, who was the Essex Library’s director for 13 years. A true visionary, Ms. Penniman has always seen the Library as “the university of the people”, and was instrumental both in the building of the new Library, and in its evolution into a center of the community. 

Key to All Aboard’s success were the contributions of both corporate and individual sponsors, who provided the goods and services, auction items, and funds to get the party rolling; Tower Labs, Hi-Rel Products, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Essex Financial Services, the Clark Company, and Mr. and Mrs. Chet Kitchings. Very special thanks also go to Cathy and Paul Poulin, the Law Offices of Christopher L. Morano, Andrea Isaacs of Cloud Nine Catering, Connecticut River Dock and Dredge, Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, Gull Associates, Pikme Papers, and Saybrook Ford. 

“The evening exceeded our wildest expectations!” said Barbara Klin, President of the Essex Library Association.  “We plan to make this an annual event.”     

If you’d like more information about the 21st Century Campaign, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560.