LEICESTER, Mass. — The historic Leicester Library is the town's oldest municipal building still used for its original purpose, and in honor of Leicester's 300th anniversary the library campaign is holding a celebration to help raise funds to renovate the town landmark.
"We are going forward and still trying to raise the money for the expansion and renovation of the library without going to the town for a debt exclusion," said Teena Cherry, capital campaign chair.
In May, the Massachusetts Library Board of Commissioners approved the library's $4.2 million grant proposal request. Since then, the Leicester Library campaign has worked to raise the required $3.1 million for the rest of the project.
So far, a $2 million pledge made last April by an anonymous donor together with support from local businesses and residents has brought the remaining amount to just below $1 million, according to Cherry.
Last spring the MLBC placed Leicester 11th on the list of projects to be funded, and with the state starting about five projects a year this gives the campaign longer to raise the necessary funds, said Library Director Suzanne Hall.
"We certainly want to keep our efforts in front of townspeople, and let them know we're still trying and we're still hoping to do it," said Cherry. "We're still plugging away at it."
In addition to ongoing fundraising efforts like the Brick Sale and continued contributions from the community, the upcoming celebration will help bring the campaign closer to its goal.
"We've gone with the theme of Leicester Library celebrates Leicester, because it's the 300th anniversary, and we wanted to keep that in the forefront," said Cherry.
"It's the only municipal building still used for what it was originally used for," she added. "It was built for a town of 1,000 people, and now we have over 10,000 but it's never been expanded.
Set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at the Leicester Country Club, the celebration will feature live music from renowned local band Beatles for Sale, as well as
Hors d’oeuvres, dancing and a Chinese raffle.
Tickets are available at the library. Cost is $40 each, $75 per couple, or $350 for a table of 10.