Fundraising bonus boosts OCC library

       The Old Colorado City Library can begin purchasing $20,000 in “wish list” items, thanks to a bonus in that amount from the Pikes Peak Library District Foundation's meeting a fundraising deadline for the branch's preservation project.
       The agreement was with the Gates Family Foundation. In awarding $70,000 last May, foundation officials added the challenge that if the overall fundraising goal of $1.2 million could be raised for the project by March of this year, Gates would provide another $20,000.
       Asked this week how that was going, Dolores Fowler, the District Foundation's executive director, happily stated that the total now stands at $1,231,291. “It's great, it's done,” she exclaimed.
       At the time of Gates' initial grant, the library fund-raising total was less than $1 million. In a letter to the Gates Foundation this week, Fowler states that its challenge “helped garner even more support. This grant award came at a time of great need, both in terms of funding and outlook. Your grant award renewed excitement in the campaign and helped us reach our goal. Thank you!”
       Fowler said that with the $20,000, Branch Manager Julianne Rist would be able to purchase additional furniture and equipment that were “value-engineered” out of last year's interior reconstruction work in order to make the budget.
       That work, which forced the Old Colorado City branch to close for six months, was Phase 2 of a five-year, three-phase effort to preserve and upgrade its 104-year- old Carnegie building. Phase 3, anticipated later this year, is to upgrade the parking area, including landscaping and lighting.
       The library project has been funded primarily with grants and individual donations, with some assistance from the Pikes Peak Library District. Fowler added that fundraising efforts are continuing to keep up with maintenance and other needs. For more information, she can be reached at 531-6333 x2205.
       Here is a list of donors/funding sources that gave more than $50,000 each:
       State Historic Fund, $424,083; PPLD 2006 budget, $189,000; El Pomar Foundation, $105,000; Colbert Bequest, $100,000; Gates Foundation, $70,000 (plus challenge grant); Friends of PPLD, $65,000 (plus $12,000 from Friends of PPLD - Old Colorado City); Hill Foundation, $50,000.

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