Sun Prairie Improvement Council presents $260,000 to Sun Prairie Library Foundation

The Sun Prairie Improvement Council (SPIC) on Sept. 26, 2019 presented a historic donation of $260,000 to the Sun Prairie Library Foundation. In the photo in the Sun Prairie Library’s Renk Room are (back wow, from left) Tracy Herold, Ti Gauger, Svetha Hetzler-Library Director, Nicole Waerzeggers, Jason Kobs, Bob Jokisch, Jon Emerick, Dan O’Brien, George Frank; middle row (from left) Nicole Beattie, Pat Harrington, Sarah Michaelis, Kassi Schroeder, Sue Ann Klein, Staci Willems, Rex Owens-Library Board President, Sally Campbell-Friends of the Library President, Peter Steitz (SPIC), Josh Erickson, Chris Smith, Frances Eustice (SPIC); Front Row (from left) Kevin Noskowiak (SPIC(, Ron Blawusch (SPIC), Aaron Oppenheimer and Gene Schey (SPIC).

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Sun Prairie Improvement Council presented the Sun Prairie Public Library Foundation Board with a donation of $260,000.

The council, a non-profit organization, has a long history of working with the City of Sun Prairie to sell parcels in Sun Prairie’s Business Park. The proceeds of land sales go to the Sun Prairie Improvement Council who in turn donates those funds to community organizations.

The foundation has also accepted the transfer of the Elsbeth Kind Fund from the Sun Prairie Library Board. This fund was established in 1959 and provides support for library programming and projects.

With the generous donation from the Sun Prairie Improvement Council, along with the Kind Fund, the Library Foundation Endowment now totals $1.4 million. Income from the endowment helps support library projects, such as the Dream Bus bookmobile, Overdrive, Hoopla Digital, and the upcoming 2020 Teen Space renovation project.

“Throughout our history, the Sun Prairie Public Library has benefitted from generous financial support from individuals and businesses that understand how a community prospers from a strong public library,” remarked Svetha Hetzler, Sun Prairie Library Director.

Hetzler said the donation from the council and the transfer of the Kind Fund ensures the library will have funds to support new initiatives for innovative and emerging resources and services.

“With enhanced funding from the foundation and an improved and expanded library facility, our growing population will have the spaces and resources to participate in, connect with, and discover their worlds, their community and themselves though diverse library materials, programs, meeting spaces, and low-tech and high-tech tools,” Hetzler added. “This latest gift has generated much enthusiasm and excitement for the future of the Sun Prairie Public Library!”

Library programming and circulation statistics show that the Sun Prairie Public Library is a popular destination and a focal point of the community. In 2018, 232,931 people visited the library and checked out 635,368 physical items with total program attendance at 29,634.

This year’s Summer Reading program had a total of 3,064 babies, children and teens registered. It also brought Library Champion signs to the yards of 1,879 program finishers across the city.

As the foundation prepares for a potential capital campaign, it also approved funding for an Executive Director position during the Sept. 26 meeting. The position will provide professional support to the foundation and the Friends of the Library, which are both comprised entirely of volunteers.

The Executive Director will work to expand the annual giving campaign, add additional donor recognition events, organize and support annual special events and work with library staff on promoting the benefits of the Sun Prairie Library.

“We thank the board of directors of the Sun Prairie Improvement Council for their generous donation,” Aaron Oppenheimer, President of the Library Foundation Board of Directors said. “The Library Foundation has experienced many successes over the past year. The Foundation raised nearly $65,000 through special events and individual giving, received several large donations, appointed talented people to our board of directors and has begun the process of recruiting our first executive director. In addition, we have reorganized the Foundation’s operations to be consistent with best practices. We look forward to continued success in the future.”

More information on the Sun Prairie Public Library Foundation can be found online at www.sunlibfoundation.org.

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