Friends and volunteers meet in library


(Santa Cruz County Symphony members perform as "The Rose Quartet" at Saturday's Friends and volunteers gathering at the Watsonvillle Public Library. Pictured, from left: Astrid Huala, Polly Malan, Judy Kmetko and Aleksey Klyushnik. Photo by Steve Bankhead)

WATSONVILLE — On Saturday, two annual events were combined in the Watsonville Library’s upstairs meeting room: the annual meeting of the Friends of the Watsonville Library and Volunteer Appreciation Day.

The gathering began with Friends President Patty Lockett introducing other board members, including Treasurer Buddy Nethercutt, who provided all attendees with copies of his treasurer’s report. The major item on it was the current amount provided to the Friends by the estate of Robert and Elayne Stein with a 2015 bequest of $430,000. The supportive impact of their grant is reflected in the meeting room now being named in their honor. 

Next to speak was Library Director Carol Heitzig, who cited the many library programs funded by the Friends, whose support has increased greatly thanks to the Stein grant. The 10th anniversary of the library’s building is May 2, but those years also mean a need for increased upkeep, so Heitzig asked everyone in the room who wasn’t already a library Friend or volunteer to become one. She pointed out Esperanza Gutierrez seated nearby who is a major volunteer for library programs, and asked everyone in the crowded room who was already a volunteer to stand, and more than half did. 

Lockett then offered a salute to the owner of Watsonville’s Golden China restaurant for his very generous donations to the Friends based on a percentage of dinner sales on the first Monday of every month, and offered other ways to support the group, including purchases of used books and other items in its first floor book shop, or through programs with Target and Amazon where a percentage of purchase prices can be dedicated to the Watsonville Friends of the Library. 

Then, being the annual meeting, the positions of all Friends board members were put forward for renewal by attendees. All present said “aye.”

When the meeting concluded, all were invited to the refreshment table to enjoy quiches and other treats from the nearby Second Street Cafe, as four members of the Santa Cruz Symphony who perform as “The Rose Quartet” provided guests with their skilled classical sounds.


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