Raising money to raise the roof

As spring slowly approaches, the Altamont Free Library is looking to raise the money needed to begin major renovations to the historic building that will eventually become the library's permanent home.

An auction and dinner benefit to be held 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, will bring the library financially closer to its goal of replacing the roof of the Main Street train station.

In order to maintain the zoning of the building as a historic site, we need to take off the existing slate roof and replace it. It is going to be our major renovation, and we are excited to be able to start it this spring. We know this auction will help, said Library Director Judith Wines.

The benefit, which will be held at the Altamont Community Room, has been dubbed the "I Love My Library" event in honor of Valentine's Day. The theme will be "A Valentine's Day Delight."

Dinner will be accompanied by music, silent and live auctions and an assortment of desserts, all donated by local restaurants and friends of the library. Tickets for the event cost $45 per person.

Wines said the village has been overwhelmingly generous with auction donations such as gift baskets and day trips.

"We are seeing the community come together to finally bring this long-awaited project to fruition, and all while having a night out of fun," said Wines.

Anchorwoman Elisa Streeter of WTEN will host the event, which will be chaired by Pulitzer Prize winning author William J. Kennedy and Altamont resident author and speaker Father Joseph Girzone.

Pat Spohr, a member of the committee to move the library, said the response from the community has been much more than anticipated. She said there has been so much talk about the library moving from the basement of the Key Bank over to the old train station that she thinks community members are at the point where they want to give whatever they can to get the project going.

"Once the roof is redone, we can really start to focus on the inside renovations. The dinner gets people out during the winter lull. It will be a great night," said Spohr.

Wines said that once the roof is completed they will be able to use the more than $80,000 in grant money to update the electrical system in the building.

For information and to see a list of the unique auction items, visit the library Web site at www.uhls.org/altamont. ""

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