Heritage Library raising money

MCDONALD – The Heritage Public Library is in desperate need of a new roof.

Library Board President Brian Merlino said he doesn’t believe the library’s brittle roof can withstand another winter of low temperatures and hopes work to replace the roof can begin by the end of the month.

Merlino said the materials alone would cost between $8,000 and $10,000. He is negotiating with a local technical school for the labor, but, until the roof is examined by a contractor, the board won’t know the entire cost. He added that 84 Lumber has donated $4,000 credit to the library.

The Friends of the Library and board have been working to raise the funds, which the library hadn’t budgeted for, since the roof is only 15 years old and was supposed to last 30 years. However, the original contractor installed a defective roof, said Merlino.

“It’s been a bad year,” said Friends President Pat Wyrick. “Air conditioning, plumbing – all kinds of things. Libraries are free (to patrons), but they aren’t free to run.”

The board and friends groups have been working to raise funds for the roof replacement and for library overhead costs.

As part of the fundraising efforts, the library will host “History at Heritage,” a Civil War re-enactment featuring the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 31 next to the library located at 52 Fourth St.

The event will include an encampment, weapon firing, drill demonstrations, a presentation on Civil War-era medicine, children’s crafts, period photography, a telling of the Anna Elle Carroll story and book signing.

Non-food vendors can rent a booth for $25 during the event. To rent a booth, contact Merlino at (412) 327-2567 or brian@howlingcomputer.com. Crafters, businesses, churches and civic groups are encouraged to participate.

Library volunteers also are seeking donations of items and gift baskets for drawings.

“This event is geared towards inexpensive family fun, yet has the triple goal of raising money for the library, a goal of highlighting businesses in our surrounding communities by offering inexpensive booth areas to inform people about their products, and the event also is designed to draw people through the town of McDonald to see what we offer and shop here,” stated Merlino.

“Within our walls, the Heritage Public Library in McDonald has always been a resource to the surrounding communities, yet now we are blazing a new path to become a resource to our communities outside of our walls. With events such as this Civil War encampment, we believe we will achieve those goals.”

Those assisting with the event include Co. A of the Pennsylvania Reserves 38th Volunteer Infantry re-enactment group; McDonald Parks and Recreation Department; McDonald Youth Baseball and Softball League; and Boy Scout Troop 1392.

The library also will host “Bikers for Books” Sept. 14 at the Heritage Park Pavilion, adjacent to the library. The start time is 10 a.m., and the last bike out is 11 a.m. The event will include music and food. Vendors offering motorcycle-related products are sought; inquire at the library.

The cost is $25 per rider and $10 per passengers or non-riding participants. Those registering by Sept. 10 receive a $5 discount.

“The event is directed towards the people, bikers, who often raise money for fantastic causes,” said Merlino.

The library will hold a used book sale, “Bag a Bunch of Books,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 30 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 31 at the library. A bag of books will cost $5. The proceeds will benefit the library’s roof fund.

The Friends group are currently holding a drawing for two tickets to the Oct. 20 Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game in Pittsburgh. Tickets are $3 for one and $5 for two and are available at the library.

The Friends also are holding a drawing for a quilt donated by the McQuilters group, which meets regularly at the library.

“It is just beautiful,” said Wyrick.

The quilt was made using a Civil War-era pattern and is red white and blue. It is on display at the library. Tickets are $3 each, and $5 for two. The drawing will be held Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.

The Friends group recently held their spring auction.

“It was quite successful,” said Wyrick.

The fall auction will be announced shortly, and items and baskets donated by local individuals and businesses will be on display for six to eight weeks. One of the items that will be for auction is an autographed, alternative angle photograph of Bill Mazeroski hitting his 1963 series-winning home run.

Wyrick noted the Friends has two membership levels – a full membership, including voting privileges, for $10, and an associate membership, for $5.

“You can participate as much as you like,” she said. “You can come to every meeting, or just bake for one bake sale.”

Anyone interested in joining the group can contact Wyrick at peachesnce@msn.com. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month.