This Saturday, August 29, a celebration will be held to honor the 50th anniversary of the Yellow Springs Community Library’s Xenia Avenue location (see Amy Magnus’ Yellow Springs News blog entry for a moving portrait of the library and its history).
Next to the acquisition of the Whitehall property (which had its own anniversary celebration earlier this summer), the library building at 415 Xenia Avenue was probably the largest project to be funded by various community sources, and as will become evident, the methods of raising the funds were fare more “muscular” and involved a great deal more community cooperation, coordination, time and energy than current online click-donation activities. With the departure of major industries and the dwindling memberships in volunteer organizations in Yellow Springs and elsewhere, would such an undertaking even be possible today?
Beginning with a $21,000 purchase of land by the village and a $100,000 donation from the Vernay Foundation for building construction to honor recently slain president John F. Kennedy, additional funds would be required for architects’ and engineers’ fees, landscaping, furnishings and equipment, so the Library Association set a goal of $50,000 (of which $43,000 was eventually collected, including $5,000 from the YSLA’s own building fund) and asked the Junior Chamber of Commerce to organize and run the fundraising campaign, due to their previous success in raising funds for the community swimming pool.
The first fundraising event was a bake sale on February 5, 1964, at the hardware store.
The Jaycees added funds solicitation to their scheduling event for the bloodmobile on April 14, 1964, raised around $5,000 from a door-to-door campaign and arranged for the village utilities office to collect donations to the library fund with payment of utility bills over a five year period, and the halfway goal was met by mid-June.
On July 14th an auction held on the Community Nursery School grounds netted about $300 for the cause.
In late fall of 1964 the Library Fund Apple Project was launched, with the donation of C. S. Adams’ orchard crop and involved a remarkable array of volunteers in various capacities. The apples and apple products were purchased by the Antioch dining halls and the produce managers of the IGA and Luttrell’s. Labor was provided by the Lions Club, Boys and Girl Scouts and several classes of the Antioch School..
The fund was increased by a $3,000 donation by Miami Deposit Bank in addition to about $10,000 donated by other Yellow Springs businesses (including $5,000 from Morris Bean Co. at the campaign’s launch and $200 received from Marathon Oil Co. once the new library was opened).
YSLA held a tour of “eight local homes of unusual interest” with tickets at $2 per family.
Looking at only the names recorded in the Yellow Springs News, let alone all the unsung donors, reveals the enormous scope of the effort (as well as a little highlight on formal etiquette even as late as 1965, when a woman would be referred to by her husband’s name in formal newpaper reporting):
C.S. (“Doc”) Adams — donation of apple crop for YSLA to harvest, make cider, and sell
Antioch Bookplate Company — donation of labels for Library Fund Apple Project
Mrs. Marvin Armstrong — YSLA solicitation area captain
Mrs. Josephine Augsburger — YSLA Treasurer
Norris Bayless — Jaycee financial chairman and consultant
Mrs. Harry Berley — YSLA solicitation area captain
Mrs. Mark Breiter — Library Fund Apple Project telephone work
Richard Burling — auction clerk
Tom Clemens — Jaycee records and reports chairman
Mrs. George Cornish — member of YSLA Ways and Means Committee
Sidney Davis — Jaycee solicitation area captain, general solicitation chairman
Mrs. Eugene Diehl — member of YSLA Ways and Means Committee, YSLA solicitation area captain
Kennerly Digges — Jaycee local business and industry chairman, auction clerk
Mrs. Paul Ebert — member of YSLA Ways and Means Committee, YSLA solicitation area captain
Frank Edwick — Jaycee chairman of solicitation
Burnell Ehman — Lions Club auction collection volunteer
Robert Englefield — Lions Club auction collection volunteer
Lloyd Everett — Jaycee out-of-town business, industry and foundation chairman
Skip Faust, manager of Antioch College dining halls — donation of lemonade and coffee for auction
Mrs. Henry Federighi — member of YSLA Ways and Means Committee
Jim Felder — Jaycee advance solicitation chairman
Mrs. Johann Frank — YSLA Financial Secretary
Girl Scouts — auction babysitting, homemade elderberry jelly to sell during Library Fund Apple Project
Mrs. Donald Good — YSLA solicitation area captain
Mrs. Olive Hammond — member of YSLA Ways and Means Committee
Larry Harrah — Jaycee solicitation area captain
John Hart — Jaycee general chairman
Mrs. Stanley Hetzler — YSLA Secretary
Dave Hillman — Jaycee solicitation area captain, publicity and promotion chairman
James Hobson — volunteer auctioneer services
Mrs. Kenneth Hunt — YSLA President at start of campaign
Kenneth Hunt — auction clerk
Howard Hurst — Jaycee solicitation area captain
John Inman — Lions Club auction collection volunteer
Mrs. Lloyd Kennedy — chairman of YSLA Ways and Means Committee
Ray Klontz, Antioch College assistant plant superintendent — use of college parking lot for auction
Elmer Lawson — auction collection volunteer
Mrs. Richard McCleery — YSLA Vice President
Mrs. James Mitchell — YSLA Board Member, YSLA solicitation area captain
Mrs. Floyd G. Niswander — Chairman of the YSLA Building Committee, liaison with Jaycee committee, Library Fund Apple Project Committee
Kingsley Perry, Jr. — Jaycee solicitation area captain
Hope Pobst — Library Fund Apple Project Committee
Bob Rea — Jaycee solicitation area captain
Joe Robinson — Jaycee solicitation area captain
Elva Schaub — Library Fund Apple Project Committee
William Scott — Jaycee solicitation area captain
Victor Shaw — Lions Club auction collection volunteer
Arthur Soloman — volunteer auctioneer services
Perry Stewart — auction clerk
William Struewing — Lions Club auction collection volunteer
Eugene Tashima — Jaycee solicitation area captain
John Vennerholm — Lions Club auction collection volunteer
Earl Walker — Jaycee solicitation area captain
Don Welch — volunteer auctioneer services
Amy (5 years) and Leah (2-½ years) Wing — whose gift of two cents carefully attached to lined notebook paper was used to demonstrate that all donations were gratefully welcomed
Eddie Wingard — Jaycee solicitation area captain
Mrs. Stanley Wise — YSLA Board Member, Library Fund Apple Project Committee
Stanley Wise — Library Fund Apple Project work
Yellow Springs High School Students — donation of dance proceeds
Seth Young — Jaycee individual in charge of solicitation
John Zurbuchen — Jaycee solicitation area captain