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Groups meet to discuss Library, Senior Center funding

By Debbie Gardner

PRIME Editor

HAMPDEN Members of the Friends of Hampden Free Public Library and Sherry

Himmelstein, who is spearheading a campaign to re-open the Hampden Senior

Center, met Nov. 1 to discuss plans to establish independent funding for

both services.

The Hampden Free Public Library and the recently-completed Hampden Senior

Center closed on July 1 of this year. Voters at the annual Town Meeting

this past spring rejected a Proposition 2 1/2 override that would

have provided monies to keep the Library, Senior Center and other town

services operating.

According to Library Trustee Beth Burger, it will cost approximtley $69,000

to re-open the Hampden Library, and a total of $119,000 to re-establish the

majority of library services.

At the meeting, Burger also went over a proposed timeline for

re-accredation of the Hampden Library once the doors re-open.

Also at the Nov. 1 meeting, Himmelstein and members of the Friends agreed

to consider a joint fund-raising campaign with the goal of establishing an

endowment or foundation to support both the Library and Senior Center once

they re-open.

In a press release about the meeting, Friends Co-President Patty Ehlers is

quoted as saying "We want to create a foundation as a lifelong legacy for

Hampden to teach our children philanthropy."

The group set an objective goal of May 2006 for the project, and discussed

both a four-year timeline for donations and pledges, and levels of support

for individuals and corporations.

The group plans an initial mailing in December, and members were asked to

bring suggestions for the letter to the next meeting.

The Friends of Hampden Free Public Library will meet in the Town Hall on

Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.