Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fred's to Fund Friends

Friends of the Pike County Libraries will get some welcome help in their effort to raise matching funds to ensure a grant for new computers, slated for donation by the Gates Foundation. Fred's Pizza of Waverly will be holding a "Funds for Friends" night at its 615 W. Emmitt Avenue location on Tuesday, March 16th. The $19,000 in matching funds must be raised by October, and the library board has asked the Friends of Pike County Libraries to help raise $5,000 of that amount.

According to Fred's owner, Paul Adkins, "when I heard what the Gates Foundation was doing and what the community needed to do locally to make it happen, we immediately wanted to help raise that money. So, the restaurant has designated Tuesday, March 16th, from 5-8 pm as 'Funds for Friends Night' and will donate 20% of our dining and carry out sales that evening to the Friends fund-raising effort."

No newcomer to supporting Pike County community needs, Adkins has held a number of similar events, most recently on February 18th, when the public participated in "Band Night" at Fred's, in support of the Waverly High School Tigers marching band. "It was a great success," says Adkins. "We were able to donate nearly $400 to the band. that's one great thing about the folks of Pike County. They are always there to lend a hand, and hopefully proceeds from "Friends Night" will let us match the funds for at least one library computer."

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is known for its worldwide philanthropic outreach. In regard to the public computer program, the Foundation states that "In these tough economic times, libraries are more of an essential community resource than ever. Libraries are safe, central spaces. Their services are free and available to all. Unfortunately, many libraries face shrinking budgets, even as their use grows. Staff receive less training in technology skills, computers are becoming outdated, and Internet connections can't handle the high speed streaming audio and video requirements for distance education, research, and other activities. Libraries are struggling to stay up to speed in the face of too many library patrons and too little Internet bandwidth. We're helping U.S. Libraries provide free, reliable computer contributions to society and Internet access that will allow patrons to make meaningful contributions to society."