UpRiver Library Fundraiser

The Tri-Community Library's New Library Team thanked donors for their contributions to their fundraising taco dinner and auction. They received a total of $8,362.50 from the night, bringing them closer to their needed goals to build a larger, more modern building for the library in Fernwood. Seen here is New Library Team member Myrtle Mellen leading story time in the current library.

A small-town library is one step closer to getting bigger after a successful fundraiser March 2.

Myrtle Mellen, a member of the Tri-Community Library’s New Library Team, said their fundraising dinner, auction and raffle at the Fernwood Senior Center was a resounding success. The group reportedly received contributions from a large number of donors, both from private citizens and businesses in and around Fernwood.

“Fernwood Mercantile donated $1,000, so that was a big boost,” she said. “Our total received for the auction and the dinner was $8,362.50. We thought that was amazing.”

Rick Powell donated a shotgun to the auction, which was won by Pam Shawver. Guns and Pawn also donated a 30-06 rifle, which was won by Dwayne and Sherri Whitney.

The campaign to fund a new library in Fernwood began last year. Local figures found that the current library building, itself a converted house, was to small to serve the community in the many roles it played. More than just offering books, the Tri-Community Library has become a social and educational center for the Fernwood area.

“Home-school children use the library for computer use, books and for social opportunities,” Myrtle Mellen, a member of the New Library Team, said. “Some of the elderly gather there to color, and the maker space is new and needs a much larger space. There is so much more that could be provided for the children and teens if there was space to do so.”

“Our librarians are always trying new activities, but sometimes they just can’t because they don’t always have the room,” Rebecca Ahonen, a member of the New Library Team, said.

The New Library Team’s goal is to fund the construction of a new facility, with more space for books, movies, computers, children’s areas, creative spaces and more. The group seeks to raise $200,000 for the project, of which they have collected approximately $10,000

The group plans to continue fundraising at Pioneer Days and the Benewah County Fair, and intends to hold another auction and a series of raffles. Details on future fundraisers will be released in the near future. Felice Hibbard, a recently-joined member of the group, is also researching grant opportunities for the project.

“We’re really pleased, because we just started last summer,” Ms. Mellen said. “We’ve done really well, because until recently there’s just been three of us. We’ve got a lot more people aware now that have helped us, and the donations from businesses in St. Maries were amazing.”

For more information on how to help, call Ms. Mellen at 208-245-5379 or by email at myrtlemgrace@gmail.com.

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