Farm-to-table event will add to Washougal Library building fund

Judy Musa thinks The Get To-Gather Farm and the new, yet to be built Washougal Library have one important thing in common.

“(Get To-Gather Farm owner) John (Spencer) envisions his farm as a community gathering place, but that’s also what the library will be – and as a bigger library it will be even better, more inclusive gathering place,” said Musa, development officer for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation. “It kind of goes hand in hand with his farm being a gathering place, just like the new library.”

That’s one of the reasons Musa is excited about “Novel Night,” a farm-to-table fundraiser for Washougal’s new library project, to be held from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, August 6 at Get To-Gather Farm in Washougal.

The event is organized by the foundation, FVRL and the group Friends of Washougal Community Library.

“I’m intrigued by farm-to-table events because I think it’s so important for people to eat locally, buy locally, and just celebrate what we have in our beautiful region here,” said said Musa. “The whole community is really committed behind this, so we hope it will be a real success. It’s not exactly a replacement for Dîner en blanc (fundraising event), as it may continue into 2023. But we knew we had to do something, and I wanted it to be something fun and different and hopefully capture people’s attention.

Musa found what she was looking for when she connected with Spencer in the fall of 2021 through mutual acquaintance Bill Maniscalco.

“We’re very happy to be able to be a part of this,” Spencer said. “Part of our business plan is to become a place where the community comes together. Organizing events like this fits perfectly with what we want to do. We believe people need more opportunities to connect with each other and with the earth, and we’re thrilled to have the chance to provide one. We hope it will be one of many. The goal is to make it a true farm-to-table experience and let the earth and plants do the magic.

The event costs $60 per person and will include dinner, silent and live auctions, musical performances, and updated concept designs for the new library.

“(Hacker Architects employees) will have some of the posters and they’ll be there to answer questions, just like they were at community input meetings,” Musa said. “We are working on getting these final things ready so that everything feels like a great representation of what they envision and what the community has been waiting for for so long. They take all of this information that they have gathered at community input meetings and put it together.

FVRL is working on the construction of a new facility that will provide more equipment, resources, internet and computer access, as well as more space for meetings, programs and workshops, at the intersection of Main Street and Durgan Street in downtown Washougal.

“Supporting the library is a no-brainer,” Spencer said. “Libraries are vital to communities, and it is painfully obvious that the current Washougal library is packed. They will be able to do much more for the community when they move into their new building. .. I’m also thrilled that the community is rallying around the library – it’s been a while since East County had a project that almost anyone can support. I would love to see the success of the library spawn more community projects where families can participate and create a more collaborative environment. »

Once the architects gather their feedback, they will finalize a concept rendering and develop a preliminary cost estimate, both of which will be used in future fundraising efforts.

FVRL’s Board of Directors has committed nearly $3 million in capital reserves to the project, and the Friends group and Foundation have raised over $363,000 through local fundraising events such as sales. of books and the Dinner in White on the Columbia dinner/auction.

Many local community organizations, including the Camas Lions Club, Camas-Washougal Moose Lodge, and Camas-Washougal Rotary Club, donated $1,000 each to the Foundation’s Washougal Library Building Fund.

“Once we have an idea of ​​how much the project will cost, we can figure out how much is left to raise,” former Washougal Community Library manager Rachale Ries told The Post-Record in April. “Our hope is to find enough supporters and donors willing to invest in this project so that construction can begin in early 2023.”

For more information about the project, visit washougallibraryfriends.org or fvrlfoundation.org.

Tickets for the 21+ event can be purchased online at novelnight.eventbrite.com. For more information, call 360-906-4700 or email [email protected]