Jesup fundraising goal shattered

BAR HARBOR — The community helped Jesup shatter a fundraising challenge set by longtime Jesup volunteers and supporters Sheldon and Jill Goldthwait and Emily Sabah-Maren.

The Goldthwaits and Sabah-Maren pledged to match $10,000 donated to the Jesup between Aug. 8 and 20. The community responded with $21,422.19, more than doubling the goal and resulting in a total donation of $31,422.19. Individual gifts ranged from $6.26 from six-year-old Lorelei Schwartz to a donation of more than $5,000 from an anonymous donor.

“Every single dollar donated goes to help us keep the doors open and offering all the services the community relies on us for,” said Melinda Rice, director of development and communications.

“Thank you to Jill and Shel and Emily, and thanks to each of the people who rose to meet their challenge. A gift to the Jesup is truly a gift to the whole community.”

Between 2012 and 2015, the number of programs offered for adults at the Jesup has increased by 104 percent, and attendance at those programs has risen 155 percent. For children, the library has offered 61.5 percent more programs and seen an increase in attendance of 73.4 percent. So far in 2016, the Jesup has welcomed more than 6,000 people to programs, all at no charge.

“We could not do what we do without the financial support of the community,” Rice said.

For information about donating to the Jesup, contact Rice at [email protected] or 288-4245.

The Jesup is a private nonprofit, but has served as the public library in Bar Harbor since it opened in 1911. The town provides less than 5 percent of the funds to run the library on a day-to-day basis. Endowment provides another 43 percent. The rest comes from generous individuals and businesses. Those gifts are vital. The Jesup offers books, music CDs, movies and a telescope for check-out, plus lectures, concerts, dances, 24-hour Wi-Fi, public-use computers, story times, special events and more at no charge to everyone on an equal basis.

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