Community raises more than $3,000 in library fundraiser
By Tim Barnum
News Editor | email@example.com
SKIDWAY LAKE — An auction and bake sale held at the Skidway Lake Chamber of Commerce Hall Oct. 13 raised $3,600 for renovations at the Skidway Lake Library.
Shane Gamez, who helped organize the auction with his wife Victoria, said about 15 businesses, mostly in the Skidway area, donated items for the auction. Community members donated items for the auction, too, Gamez said.
“If they had stuff left over from a garage sale, they could donate it,” he said.
About 90 bidders registered for the auction, Gamez said. Baked goods sold during the auction helped raise the $3,600, he added.
The rainy weather Oct. 13 caused a little bit of an issue with the location of the auction, Gamez said. It was originally scheduled to be held in the parking lot at his business, the Bargain Depot, but was moved due to the weather.
“Basically, we had everybody drop off donations at the Bargain Depot. We were going to have it in the parking lot,” he said. “But it started raining, so we hauled everything down to the chamber hall. I appreciate the chamber letting us have it there.”
Jeanette Leathorn, director of the Ogemaw District Library, said work to transition the Skidway Lake Library from its current location to the former Skidway Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars post is underway. The money raised at the auction will be used for that project, Leathorn said.
“We have two loans out on the building, so all that money is going to meet those loans for the cost of renovation,” she said. “We’re hoping to raise about $10,000 a year to help cover that loan.”
At this time, the former VFW hall is mostly empty, as inmates working with the Sheriff’s Work Program cleaned the building out in September, Leathorn said.
“The VFW hall is just a gutted building at this point,” she said.
Leathorn said work inside of the VFW building began Oct. 17.
“The construction company has 120 days from Oct. 17 to get the renovation done,” she said. “Then we have to start moving stuff in at that time.”
According to Gamez, who was the auctioneer for the fundraiser, said he and other community members are working on another auction for the library.
“We plan to hold another one in the spring,” he said.
In August, Leathorn told the Herald the district library received a $50,000 United States Department of Agriculture loan to match a $150,000 grant to build an addition to the library in Skidway Lake, but later decided to renovate the old VFW hall in Skidway. She said one of the main reasons the district library decided to move to the former VFW building was because there is more space available both inside and outside of the VFW hall than the current library.
The contractor selected for the renovation work is Miller Construction, of West Branch.