The Cortez Public Library hasn’t hosted a major fundraiser since the Library Libations wine tastings ceased several years ago, and it hasn’t updated the children’s section equipment in over 20 years.
Children’s librarian Laura McHenry’s goal for this year is to update the aging accessories, furnishing and learning toys in the children’s section. Many items in the section are “well used” and in need of replacement, and McHenry also hopes to purchase new literacy stations.
The Chocolate Fantasia fundraiser is the first step in making that happen.
The estimated cost of updating the children’s section and purchasing new literacy stations is $5,000, but the library’s goal for the fundraiser is $1,000. McHenry is also pursuing grants to help fund the project. Cash donations toward the project are also appreciated.
The idea for the fundraiser was developed by Cassandra Leoncini, events and publicity coordinator for the library, and Eric Ikenouye, recently departed library director. Leoncini said she participated in a similar fundraiser while living in Silver City, New Mexico, and thought the chocolate-based event would be a fun way for Cortez residents to help refurbish the children’s section.
Community members will have the opportunity to stock up on chocolate treats and gift baskets in time for Valentine’s Day while supporting the library and the many community programs it provides for children in the area.
The event has already garnered donations from local bakeries, cafés and businesses, as well as a variety of homemade treats from local residents.
Many of the donations from local businesses such as The Farm Bistro, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Cortez and Moose and More will be auctioned off via silent auction, while homemade goodies will be offered for sale with samples to try before purchasing. Valentine’s gift baskets of books for both adults and children will also be available for purchase for those who may want a treat other than chocolate.
If the fundraiser goes well, the library is considering hosting it again next year, possibly with a judged contest to name the best confectioners and bakers in the area.
The Chocolate Fantasia fundraiser will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the library. The library welcomes donations from the community and local businesses.
Community members interested in donating treats are asked to bring their goods to the library Tuesday. Each treat should be accompanied by an ingredient list for those with allergies or special diets. Library staff will prepare samples of many of the donated desserts. The sale and silent auction are open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring cash or checks; credit cards will not be accepted.