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Rotary to salute volunteers at library reopening celebration

By Staff | Nov 15, 2012

From left, staffers Cindy Wada and Cindy Taufa, along with volunteer Francine Scaccia-Cajar, preview the new Lahaina Public Library. A “Salute to Volunteers Grand Reopening and Blessing” at the library is set for 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.

LAHAINA – Culminating three years of effort; the contribution of more than 3,500 hours of donated planning, work and labor; and donations of materials, services and funds valued at $300,000, the Rotary Club of Lahaina and Maui Friends of the Library will celebrate a “Salute to Volunteers Grand Reopening and Blessing” at Lahaina Public Library at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Guests to the free event will enjoy music and dance by the Napili Kai Foundation halau, ice cream and cookies.

Attendees can also meet the volunteers for the library project and tour the renovated facility.

Completed without public expense and originally budgeted at $280,000 (including the value of donated help), the massive community project grew and grew.

Committed volunteer contractors added embellishments, and MFOL chipped in a final $9,500 to paint the 57-year-old library’s exterior to match the work inside.

State Librarian Richard Burns described the project “as amazing and unprecedented” in an e-mail to Rotary Project Coordinator Sara Foley.

“The amount of support they have marshaled in their community, including volunteers, fundraising, in-kind donations and manpower, are an inspiration. Not only has this collective effort refurbished and rejuvenated the library building, it has motivated the support and appreciation of people throughout the community for their library,” he continued.

“The efforts of the Rotary Club of Lahaina, Maui Friends of the Library, businesses, residents and everyone else who have been involved or contributed to this project can serve as a shining example for other library projects throughout the state.”

Rotary started with a benefit that raised $5,000 for new library furniture. When designer Rick Cowan of Archipelago Maui and a computer-aided drafting expert created an interior design plan and suggested the entire library be redone, Rotary agreed.

Key volunteers plunged into a process more complicated and intensive than anyone ever realized, Foley said.

The work entailed months of recruiting volunteer contractors and many more months of work – sometimes to the point of exhaustion – to form a committee, secure all the necessary permitting approvals and coordinate 60 days of onsite work by 18 contractors.

The total grew to 18 in the last month or two, as other needs were discovered and more services required.

“I cannot say enough to thank the entire community for its outpouring of support,” Foley said. “Contractors completed most of the work right on schedule and went above and beyond. Some 60 volunteers – none outdoing super onsite volunteer John Tryggstad for hours and energy – worked three-hour shifts, and a number returned again and again.”

Liz May, Lahaina Rotary Club president, noted that “when a community comes together for a great cause, all things are possible. Our future vision is to have social gatherings at the library, where family and friends can all enjoy the beauty of our new library.”

“All this is possible through the very generous support of the community,” Librarian Madeleine Buchanan said.