Friends of the Bridgeville Library hope to raise $50,000 towards new building

By Lynn R. Parks
So far, the Friends of the Bridgeville Library have raised more than $20,000 toward the construction of a new facility. And their Art for Books and Bricks fundraiser hasn't even been held yet. Ruth Skala, treasurer of the friends group and chairwoman for Friday's art auction, hopes that by the time the auction is over, the friends group will have raised more than $50,000 for the library construction. "We are just thrilled by the response" to the auction, said Skala, who predicted that the event will be a sellout. "We've heard from people from Dover, from Rehoboth. This goes way beyond Bridgeville." That does not mean that the citizens of Bridgeville themselves are not enthusiastic. "This has been a total community effort," Skala said. "All of Bridgeville is in back of this." That enthusiasm is evident in the way people have responded to a plea for items to include in a display about artist and former Bridgeville resident Jack Lewis. Several Lewis paintings will be included in the auction. "That display will be fantastic," Skala said. "People have opened their homes and their hearts to share the items they have." "Including the Jack Lewis paintings has really brought the entire community together," added library director Karen Johnson. "Jack touched a lot of people in the community." The half dozen Lewis paintings that will be featured in the auction are from the Raubacher Gallery, Dover, which has been the sole representative of Lewis' work for 20 years. Gallery owner Chris Raubacher said that Lewis' paintings sell for from $1,000 to $6,000. The auction will also feature original paintings, prints, collectibles and sports memorabilia provided by Regency Fine Arts, Atlanta, Ga. The evening's silent auction will feature 40 items donated by area businesses and individuals.

"The friends of the library have put a lot of effort and time into this, and have turned it into an amazing event," said Johnson. The new $2.8 million library is set to be built on the current men's softball field on South Cannon Street, where the old town and the new Heritage Shores golf community meet. Regional Builders, Seaford, will construct the building. Skala said Monday that, in spite of a state budget crunch, she is "very optimistic" that state matching funds for the construction project will be included in next year's budget. Time is of the essence in getting state support for the project: If the library does not use $700,000 given to it by the developers of Heritage Shores, as well as the 1.5 acres given to it for the project, by June 30, it will lose both the land and the money. Value of the land has been estimated at $200,000.

For your information: The Art for Books and Bricks fundraiser sponsored by the Friends of the Bridgeville Library will be Friday, April 18, at the Bridgeville Banquet Center, next to Jimmy's Grille on alternate U.S. 13 south of Bridgeville. The silent auction will get underway at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction at 7:30 p.m. There will be hors d'oeuvres and wine, as well as a tribute to artist Jack Lewis. Tickets cost $15 and are being sold at Bridgeville Town Hall and the library, Market Street, Bridgeville. As of Monday, only a few tickets were left.

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