Friends and supporters of the Port Washington Public Library gathered on Sept. 26 to celebrate the 12th Inspiration Gala, A Novel Affair. Guests enjoyed a grand buffet prepared by H on the Harbor and special cocktails served on the main floor and outside on the terrace. Festive raffle baskets filled the room enticing guests to try their hand at winning. Director Nancy Curtin was the emcee for the evening.
The Community Service Award was given to Judy and Ted Goldsmith for their decade-long service as volunteer writing and literacy teachers with the Library’s ESOL program. There are currently 400 students and 50 volunteer tutors in the program.
Jane and Marty Schwartz were honored with the Elaine and Leonard Wurzel Public Service Award for their devotion to many important charitable organizations, including The INN, Hempstead Boys and Girls Club, ERASE Racism and North Shore Child and Family Guidance Association. Messages of congratulations and cheer were projected on large screens throughout the rooms.
During her remarks, Nancy Curtin said, “I have the greatest admiration for the honorees who, throughout their lives and now in retirement, have not thought of themselves but have focused on the needs of others. It is a privilege to know them.”
In keeping with the evening’s theme, Port Washington’s own Mark Gamell as Charles Dickens performed “Dickens Reads,” a lively theatrical take on A Tale of Two Cities written and directed by Gamell with assistance from Victorian ingénue Lucie Mannette, played by Schreiber junior Daliah Bernstein and Charles Darnay, played by Schreiber senior Evan Gilmore.
When asked what donor support means for the Port Washington Library Foundation, Board President Rob Klugman responded, “The generous and continued support pledged to the Library Foundation enables us to fund popular programs through the Library’s Advisory Councils in the areas of art, music, children’s, nautical and health and Books for Dessert—a book club for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Tepper Intergenerational Fund sponsors trips to museums and other points of interest for Port Washington families. Building support has included the Spielman Story Circle renovation and the naming of the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Reading Room. These are just a few of the ways our library impacts and improves the lives of those in our community from newborns to seniors. We are grateful for the community support we receive.”
The Port Washington Library Foundation fulfills the library trustees’ requests for funding for a variety of needs and opportunities that are not covered by the taxpayer-approved budget and has given over $1.6 million in grants through the years. This year alone, they have raised more $1.7 million to fund the renovation of the existing Children’s Room. For more information, visit www.pwpl.org/foundation.