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Last Chapter fundraiser for the Gafney Library Second Century Campaign

Runs until Saturday, December 31, 2022 (See all dates)

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Wakefield – There is a lot of noise and hubbub at the Gafney Library in Sanbornville where construction of a new wing, renovation of the old, lower-level youth library to a community education/programming room and renovation of the main library to a reading/study area is underway. This exciting project has been several years in the making and due to strong community commitment, it is about to come to fruition. The project provides a spacious area for youth programming, a dedicated space for teens, creates a community room for educational programming and community meeting space and a reading and study area.

Fundraising for the project was a challenge eagerly accepted and has been soundly successful. The campaign has been led by Board President Dick DesRoches with the active involvement of Gafney Library Director Beryl Donovan, and the assistance of the Board of Trustees and volunteers. The general contractor for the project is Don Madore, LLC, of Epping. The Gafney is a private nonprofit library not owned by a municipality, though the major portion of operating expenses are provided by Wakefield and Brookfield – the two towns served by the Gafney. The initial project goal was to build the new 2,600 square foot wing, secure construction financing and pay off the construction loan with no long-term debt. Fundraising began in 2019 and a goal of $1,032,000 was reached in mid-summer of 2021 with a 5-year construction mortgage secured from Profile Bank to complete the wing construction.

The second piece of the project is renovation of the main building, construction of the community classroom and the purchase of furnishings and technology for the entire facility. The response from several generous donors and local foundations for the renovation phase has been very strong, with an additional $400,000 committed to date. All major naming gifts will be recognized at the celebratory opening of the completed building. Construction financing for this work is also in place and the goal to ensure no long-term debt is within reach. “From the beginning of this wonderful journey our Board of Trustees committed to build and purchase only what we could pay for,” says Dick DesRoches.

Fundraising efforts are now in the “Last Chapter” with a goal of $150,000 to complete the remainder of the required funding. The fundraising thermometer is on the front steps of the Gafney, posters are around the two towns and an anonymous matching Challenge Gift of $30,000 has been launched. “We need your help to reach the “Last Chapter” goal
and raise the thermometer to the $150,000 level,” says DesRoches. Gifts of any size are most welcome and eligible for the matching funds subject to the upper limit. A pledge of $1,000 or more may be paid over a 3-year period. Pledge forms are available by contacting the Gafney at 603.522.3401 or may be printed from the Gafney website

All furniture, bookcases, staff area items and books, audiobooks and movies will be moved to the new wing in April to allow for renovation of the main area to a reading/study area - with new windows, sanded floors, exposed fireplaces, refurbished bookcases, painted walls and polished 1925 Craftsman period paneling and columns. The Gafney Library Adult Learning Center will move from its current rented location at the Greater Wakefield Community Center in Union to its new home in the community room at the Gafney in April.

“Over the past several years there have been several starts and stops to address the dire space needs of our library. It’s been frustrating not to have space for programming and seating, for staff work and it’s been a long-term goal to create a community space to better serve the educational, social and entertainment needs of Wakefield and Brookfield residents. It’s been amazing and gratifying to me to see how much our community is supporting this project – we’re almost there and it’s pretty exciting,” says Donovan.

Planning is underway for a mid-summer grand-opening and naming announcements – stay tuned for some exciting events.

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The event runs from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM on the following dates.
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