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Library officials hope to Raise The Roof
Goal is to get $400,000 for capital improvements
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The existing roof at the Palm Harbor Library was installed in 2002 at a cost of $192,000. Library director Gene Coppola says the library needs to start planning now and replace the roof before 2022, when the existing 20-year roof warranty expires.
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Library is raising money for the replacement of a new roof for its 25,000-square-foot facility on Nebraska Avenue. To accomplish it, library officials are organizing a fundraiser to bring in $400,000 toward construction costs and for the purchase of five new air conditioners.

The inaugural Raise The Roof raffle is open to the public and is set for Saturday, Nov. 15 from noon – 3 p.m. at The Centre, 1500 16th St. According to library officials, 62 percent of ticket sales will go toward prizes and the remainder toward the initiative. The grand prize is $10,000 in cash.

“Since we’re in an unincorporated community, we’re not part of the county,” said Gene Coppola, who has served as the library’s director for the past 14 years. “I just can’t call up the city’s management and say, ‘by the way, put us on the list for fixing the roof.’”

Coppola explained that although the existing roof was installed in 2002 at a cost of $192,000, the library currently has no capital dollars for new construction. He said the library needs to start planning now. He wants to replace the roof before 2022, when the existing 20-year roof warranty expires.

The Raise The Roof campaign is based off of a program that was started by a volunteer fire department in upstate New York. The fire department has raised money using this model for the past 22 years and sells up to 2,000 raffle tickets for each event.

“Since this is our first time doing this, we want to be conservative and decided to go with just 1,000 tickets,” Coppola said. “If it works in the next couple of years, then we can up the ante to 2,000.”

Raffle tickets are $50 and available at the library. Up to five people can buy one ticket breaking the cost down to $10 each. The first place winner receives $10,000; second place, $5,000; and third place, $2,500. In addition, 10 winners will receive $750 each and 15 winners, $400 each. There will be a total of 28 winners.

A professional auctioneer will oversee the drawing, set at The Centre. The Palm Harbor fire chief has the honor of pulling the winning tickets, which will be re-entered for a second drawing. Participants do not need to be present to win. For those attending the Nov. 15 event, hamburgers and hotdogs will be served along with soda and water. Door prizes and music will be available.

Library patrons can make a separate donation directly to the library for the cause if they choose not to buy a raffle ticket. Area businesses can purchase 1,000 bookmarks for $100 from the library in support of the campaign. The bookmarks will include information about the fundraising initiative and purchaser’s business. The bookmarks will be given to anyone who checks out material at the library.

The Palm Harbor Library has been in existence since 1978 when a group of volunteers informally started the library from a book sale, which raised $200. In July 1988, the library officially opened at its current location. It serves an estimated 12,000 patrons monthly in the Greater Palm Harbor area.

A new children’s art studio was recently installed at the library and is geared toward children ages 5 to 12. The studio gives children in the community the opportunity to sculpture, paint and draw.

For more information, contact the library at 784-3332, ext. 3002.
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