Library fundraiser has special theme

By Lynn R. Parks

Valentine's Day this year will come and go in the course of 24 hours in most communities. But in Bridgeville, the celebration will extend through Feb. 20 thanks to the Friends of the Bridgeville Library's fundraiser. "For the Love of Books" will have a Valentine's Day theme, said organizer Ruth Skala. It will also pay tribute to Norman Reynolds, a retired Woodbridge High School English teacher who is much admired in the community, Skala added. "The community loves and respects [Mr. Reynolds] very much," she said. "We have had an amazing outpouring of support of the fundraiser because of him. People who experienced him as a teacher have been wanting to give back, and this gives them a way to do it." Reynolds, 82, and a resident of Bridgeville, started teaching in what was then the Bridgeville School District in 1953. He retired from Woodbridge High School in 1988. "I am very honored," Reynolds said of the tribute. "It is nice to see that people in the community appreciated what I did." Reynolds will be introduced at the fundraiser by Gen. John Custer, a Bridgeville native who graduated from Woodbridge High in 1970. Custer is commander of Fort Huachuca in Arizona, home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and an intelligence training facility. "We asked if he would do the tribute speech and he accepted, with great enthusiasm," Skala said. Last year's library fundraiser paid tribute to former Bridgeville artist and teacher Jack Lewis, who now resides in Maine. The fundraiser auction featured several Lewis paintings, something that this year's auction will also include.

Last year's auction also included art provided by Regency Fine Arts, an art auction business based in Atlanta, Ga. The Regency auction generated little enthusiasm, bringing in less than $1,000. This year's auction will feature items donated by area residents and businesses, many of which were happy to contribute because of the tribute to Reynolds, Skala said. Included among the auction items will be a long weekend in Ocean City, Md., a diamond ring, dining certificates to area restaurants including Bonz in Harrington and Bon Appetit in Seaford, prints by area artists including Woody Woodruff and Tammy Kearney, stained glass, certificates for rounds of golf, carvings and a limited edition photo print by Cape Cod photographer Michael Orenstein. "We really think that there will be something for everybody," Skala said. In addition to the live auction, which will be headed up by auctioneer Frank McCraghan, the event will include silent and Chinese auctions. There will also be door prizes and refreshments, including wine, will be served. A cash bar will be set up. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit construction of the new Bridgeville Public Library, already underway on South Cannon Street. The library is expected to be completed by the end of May and open sometime in June.

For your information For the Love of Books, the Friends of the Bridgeville Public Library fundraiser honoring retired English teacher Norman Reynolds, will be Friday, Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Bridgeville Banquet Center (next to Jimmy's Grille). Tickets are $20 and can be obtained at the library on Market Street and at town hall, at the corner of Market and Main streets. Tickets can also be ordered from Cheryl Gerring, 47 Emily's Pintail Drive, Bridgeville, DE 19933. Checks should be made out to the Friends of the Bridgeville Library.

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