COVID-19 Grant Recipient Spotlights | Cycle 3, #1

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Posted by jim under Grants & Awards

Last month, MALF named the ten recipients of the third and final round of the organization's COVID-19 Grant Response Program. It’s now our privilege to profile each of these worthy Friends and projects, a few at a time.

Friends of the Cambridge Public Library
Cambridge Public Library moved to a new, spacious building in July 2020. Among other amenities, the new site boasts a courtyard well suited to host outdoor programming, book club meetings, and other library gatherings. Unfortunately, what the Library does not have is permanent outdoor furniture for this versatile and beloved space. In preparation for each outdoor program, staff gamely trek chairs from inside the building and return them after the event wraps up. Naturally, this is not an ideal or a sustainable solution. Friends of Cambridge Public Library sought a MALF grant to purchase permanent and weatherproof furnishings for the Library’s courtyard.

Friends of the Park Rapids Library
Park Rapids Area Library is a proud member of that community’s Dementia Friendly Action Team. As the name suggests, this task force provides resources and experiences for residents with Alzheimer’s and related conditions (as well as their caregivers). As one means to that end, the Library offers loanable Yesteryear Kits. Each adheres to a specific theme, with School Days, Farm Life, and Flowers & Gardening standing out as particular favorites. All are specially designed to evoke fond memories from – and stoke conversations with – people experiencing Alzheimer’s. Park Rapids Friends of the Library sought a mini-grant from MALF to enable them to make an investment in more Yesteryear Kits on behalf of their Library.

Standout Friends Featurette: Ruth Weber of Lakeville

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Posted by jim under Grants & Awards

OneBook OneLakeville is among the longest running and best loved community reads initiatives in the Twin Cities. The Friends of the (Lakeville) Heritage Library are instrumental to its success – and have been since the program’s inception in 2009. While it’s an all hands on deck affair, the Friends in turn credit much of OneBook OneLakeville’s success to “hospitality specialist” Ruth Weber.

"Ruth is such a vital and energetic member… Whatever is asked of her, her usual response is 'Count me in!'" explained Loretta Ellsworth, a fellow Friend and one of OneBook OneLakeville’s founders.

Weber’s energetic contributions extend beyond The Friends’ tentpole event each spring. Her hospitality skills also come in handy when the group throws so-called Silver Teas. Geared towards Lakeville residents aged 55+, these soirees boast both lively conversation and live entertainment. Over recent teas, the audience has been regaled with everything from Italian mandolin, to African banjo, to ukulele.

Ruth can also be counted on to pitch in headlong with the (often thankless) tasks associated with used book sale fundraisers.

“And on top of all that, we all agree that Ruth is the sharpest dresser of us all," concluded Ellsworth.

Do you have a Standout Friend in your midst that you’d like to acknowledge on a statewide stage? MALF is now welcoming nominees for the 2021 "class" of Standout Friends. Visit our website to learn how to put a peer forward - but be sure to do so before 
Friday, August 6.