hosted an outdoor party Saturday on the site of its planned new home on Grange and Ruppsville roads in Upper Macungie.
About 100 guests turned out for the festivities, which included, for younger guests, a concert by singer/illustrator Steve Pullara of the Cool Beans Band, face-painting and a surprise visit by Curious George to encourage summer reading.
Debbie Jack, the library's executive director, said the event was the official kickoff of community fundraising to help build the new facility.
Thus far, the library has $3.5 million for the project, with $11.5 million being the .
Karl Siebert, the library board's vice president, emphasized volunteerism to help strengthen the Capital Building Campaign.
“We believe strongly in volunteers with the library,” Siebert said. “It helps augment the staff. We also have volunteers who work on the board. What we anticipate is to have more opportunities on our committees.”
Siebert also said anyone interested in assisting in fundraising, or participating on the library board, can visit the library’s website.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, R- Lehigh Valley; state Rep. Gary Day, R-187th; Doug Reichley, R-134th; South Whitehall Township Commissioner Brad Osborne and Lehigh County Commissioner Daniel McCarthy were on hand for the festivities.
They awarded various volunteers for their dedication to the project.
“This is a perfect example of cooperation between the community, government, and volunteers all working together,” McCarthy said. “We got the beginning of a library, and a great community asset.”
Among the volunteers honored were recent Parkland High School graduates Nicholas Dyszel and Keshav Kumarankandath; Gloria Hamm, president of the Friends of the Library and a Lehigh County Commissioner, and Cynthia Kuzma. All were presented with certificates of recognition and achievement for their work on fundraising and library board assistance.
Hamm presented a check for $250,000 from Friends of the Library, an auxiliary group devoted to support the library’s needs, to help jump start the campaign. Hamm said the money is primarily proceeds from the group’s recent book sales.
The new Parkland Community Library is targeted to be completed by December 2012. It will have meeting rooms for local groups, tutoring areas, and a larger children’s storytime room.
Donating the barbecue lunch, tents, equipment, and other services for the kickoff party were local businesses such as , Weis, A-Treat, Taylor Rental, and , among others.
Parkland Community Library began as a grass roots effort in a small building in Guthsville, serving South Whitehall, North Whitehall and Upper Macungie. By 1981, as its collection grew, it moved to its current location off Walbert Avenue in South Whitehall, next to the . It also serves a portion of West Allentown that is part of the .