GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A couple dozen children gathered in neat rows in the Green Cove Springs Library children’s section Monday evening and sat underneath the first of two murals installed in the …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A couple dozen children gathered in neat rows in the Green Cove Springs Library children’s section Monday evening and sat underneath the first of two murals installed in the section this fall.
The library’s branch manager Jennifer Parker, donning elf ears and a pointy green hat, walked in front of the group and introduced the first act of the night: members of Friends of the Green Cove Springs Library who drew tickets for a raffle that had been going on since September, just before the first panels of the mural went up.
“Have you seen all of the beautiful artwork we’ve added to your library?” Parker said. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of the Friends.”
The murals were completed in two phases, with the third currently in the planning phase. Jacksonville muralist and painter Anthony Rooney was hired through the Friends group to decorate the back wall, as well as the areas outside and just inside the doors that separate the children’s library from the rest of the building.
Each year the Friends of the Library enlists its most nimble-fingered members, Jackie Beck, Gidget Guice and Bonnie Sprinkle, to complete a quilt with a literary theme that appeals to both the young and the young at heart. This year’s theme was Harry Potter.
“We all had children your age and most of us have grandchildren your age now,” Guice said. “We’re so excited to be here with you all.”
Guice carried a large bucket that was bursting with raffle entries that were sold for about three months at $5 each and three for $10. The fundraiser brought about $2,100 back to the Friends to help pay back the money spent to get the mural project off the ground.
“[The Friends] appreciate everyone that spent their money and bought tickets to help the library and the Friends of the Library,” Guice said.
With that, Guice asked the help of the nearest child, whose tiny hand reached into the bucket and pulled one of the hundreds of pieces of paper. The winner was announced, Helen Williams. Williams was not present but would be contacted later to pick up her Harry Potter quilt.
Early next year, Rooney is expected to begin painting the last portion of the murals with installation following shortly thereafter. The Friends also look forward to annual events kicking off in the spring including their yearly book sale and spaghetti dinner fundraiser.