Groton on the Inside: Groton Public Library funding close to finish line


One of the main pillars that holds up the foundation of our great community is the Groton Public Library. On any given day, this beloved building is alive with activity ranging from children’s, youth, and teen programs, author and other special guest appearances, nutritional and other practical educational programs, free food, and meals for everyone, and more!

All these activities have grown and developed so much over just the past three years, that the need for the library’s planned 2,000 square foot expansion has become more than just a dream or a desire – it is truly crucial and necessary. There are more than a few patrons who would like to see an area dedicated to quiet reading, which will also be realized once the addition is completed.

As reported in this column Aug. 13, Senator James Seward and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton jointly announced a combined $700,000 of New York State funds for the expansion, the GPL Board of Trustees committed $125,000 from its fund balance, and the Friends of the Groton Public Library launched the “Campaign to Grow the Groton Public Library” with a goal to raise $150,000 to meet the projected total cost of $975,000 for the project.
Chair of the campaign committee, Groton resident and president emeritus of Tompkins Cortland Community College, Carl Haynes, let me know that as of Sept. 30, they have received approximately $140,000 in donations and pledges toward that $150,000 goal, so they are almost there!

An anonymous donor had offered a challenge grant of $30,000 to match all donations received or pledged by Sept. 30, but Haynes also said the deadline for the challenge/matching gift has been extended until Oct. 31, 2018. Any donation or pledged support (up to three years) will be matched dollar for dollar!

Among the many requirements for the state funding grant is that the library will soon be required to demonstrate that it has the local portion of the project costs either available or committed. If the support this month could help “cross the finish line,” it would be extraordinarily helpful and position the Friends of GPL’s campaign to be ready to demonstrate that it has met that requirement when the time comes. Actual donations or pledges of support will both count toward this commitment.

Haynes, library director Sara Knobel, the GPL Board of Trustees, and all the staff and volunteers connected to this fine institution are so grateful to everyone who has already made a gift or commitment. If you have not done so yet, I hope you will consider taking part in this historic effort to maximize the resources available to all of us through our local library.

Those wishing to contribute may do so by sending a check payable to Friends of the GPL, 112 E. Cortland St, Groton, NY 13073, through PayPal at, or by calling the library at 607-898-5055 to obtain an information packet that includes a pledge form.

An urgent plea for blood donors
Hundreds of blood drives that were forced to cancel due to Hurricane Florence, resulting in over 6,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations, has the American Red Cross pleading for blood and platelet donors. Donors of all blood types are needed to recover donations unable to be obtained due to the storm. There is an especially critical need for platelet and type O blood donations.
Hurricane Florence is gone, but her devastating effects continue in the Carolinas, where dangerous flooding is still occurring, forcing more people to leave their homes. The storm poured an estimated 10 trillion gallons of water across the Carolinas and it could be weeks before the flooding ends.

As a blood donor myself since my college days, I can personally attest to how gratifying it is to spend an hour or two every 60 days to donate a pint of blood that I can replenish in a day, while pondering the fact that my small contribution could be the very thing that literally saves someone’s life, or at the very least, prolongs a life that might otherwise have been cut shorter without it.

All that being said; there will be a blood drive from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 312 Locke Road. To schedule an appointment, call Fran Sovocool at (607) 898-3145, visit, or download the Blood Donor App. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Breakfast buffet in McLean
The McLean fire station will host its popular monthly breakfast buffet from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. They will be serving regular and pumpkin pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, ham, sausage, sausage gravy with biscuits, an assortment of juices, coffee, and tea.
To celebrate fall, the monthly special slot on the menu will feature apple crisp. Cost for adults is $8, senior citizens $7, and all children $5. For further information call 607-838-8249 or 607-838-3444.

It’s the Giant Pumpkin!
Not the Great Pumpkin of Charlie Brown fame, but Groton’s own “Guess the Weight of the Giant Pumpkin” contest is on! The ginormous squash is located at the Main St. pavilion. Stop by anytime, check it over, and then make your way to the Groton Village Office, 143 E. Cortland St. to enter your guess.
The closest guess will win a gift certificate for $25 off your village electric bill and a Halloween goody bag. The winner will be announced during “Trunk or Treat” on Oct. 31. Come back to this column next week for more details on that event.

Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit items to Linda Competillo, or 607-227-4922


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