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Library campaign to launch phone blitz

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FORT FRANCES—The “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign for the new Fort Frances Public Library is undertaking a telephone blitz next week (Sept. 22-26) to get the final $35,000 needed to meet its $750,000 goal.

Called the “Drive for 35” phone campaign, a dedicated group of volunteers will be calling area residents next Monday through Friday to try and get pledges.

“We’re quite hopeful that we’ll be able to get our final $35,000 during the blitz,” said campaign chair Mark Kowalchuk, adding community support has generated $715,000 in pledges to date, which he called “an amazing number.”

“We see this as making a final push, and it would be great to get this finished up so that we can concentrate on the construction side of the project,” he noted.

“We know there’s people out there who say, ‘I’ve been intending to make that donation,’ but have just not done that yet. That’s why we’re emphasizing we would like to get this wrapped up in September,” Kowalchuk added.

“I will be so excited and so relieved when we hit that target because we have had some bumps along the way,” admitted library board chair Joyce Cunningham.

“Plus we have had a few people who have definitely indicated that they don’t think we could ever do this, and I have always thought we could, and I will be so happy when we finally do.

“I think we can do it by the end of September,” she remarked.

Kowalchuk said he and a team of volunteers, including Cunningham, will be calling local residents and asking them if they’d like to join the hundreds of other individuals, businesses, and organizations that already have made pledges.

Kowalchuk said volunteers are trying to make it as easy as possible for people to give. They will phone you and if you want to make a pledge, they’ll take down your information (such as your name, address, how much you want to give, how you want pay, etc.) and even write it on a pledge card for you.

They’ll then come by your home that week or in the first few days of the following week, and get you to sign the pledge card and complete the process (i.e., pick up the cheque, get your VISA number, etc.)

That said, organizers don’t want interested donors to wait for their phone call.

“They can call the library saying they want to make a pledge, and we can call them back to get information and so on,” explained Kowalchuk, adding those who want to give, but won’t be in town next week for the blitz, can visit the public library right now to get a pledge card.

Kowalchuk stressed it doesn’t matter if donations are small or large, in a lump sum, or spread over three, four, or five years—every penny helps to move the new Fort Frances Library and Technology Centre that much closer to construction.

Payment options, like Mastercard, VISA, or automatic deductions, are available. As well, all donations over $25 will be issued a tax receipt.

Donors who give $500 or more, or in memory or honour of others, will be acknowledged on a donor wall in the new library and technology centre.

As for the actual library plans, Cunningham said the building committee is working on a timeline to proceed to tender in January to enable construction to begin in early spring.

The floor plan for the library design presented to town council back in April currently is on display at the library.

The building committee also has confirmed the new library and technology centre will be a 13,770 sq. ft., single-storey structure located at the corner of First Street East and Reid Avenue, adjacent to the Memorial Sports Centre.

(Fort Frances Times)

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