CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — Ed and Francine Rodger, longtime supporters and founding trustees of Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, last week announced the establishment of a non-profit support group to aid the library financially.
The official announcement of the Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library Foundation came at the conclusion of a round of short speeches from library officials and elected representatives at last week’s 50th Anniversary Masquerade Ball.
The Rodgers know first-hand how important creative visioning, planning, and financial support is to a service-oriented organization like the library. It was Francine who pushed for the first dinner dance in the late 1960s at the Edison Club; a dance that drew 50 couples and got the library initiative off the ground.
“I stood up at that dance and said we need a committee to look into fundraising to buy some land,” Francine Rodger said at the Ball. “On Monday morning I got a call from Dave Riebel who said he had the land.”
Francine and Ed along with others with a long history of support for the library understand it’s nice to take stock of past successes but it’s crucial to continue to focus on the future in order to find ways to improve what has become a vital community resource.
In his formal remarks last weekend Ed Rodger recalled how difficult it was in the early years to support the library by fundraising and the positive impact the approval of the special taxing districts in Clifton Park and Halfmoon have had on library finances.
“Now we can budget and the budget is voted on and gets approved every year and we thank the public immensely for that,” he said.
Taxpayers in the two districts approved a bond to build the current facility at 475 Moe Road and once the building opened 13 years ago, Rodger said the feeling was that the library would finally have enough space to meet the needs of the community, at least for a while. But those needs have only increased.
“We’re still seeing a need for growth,” he told the crowd at the Masquerade Ball last Saturday. “I don’t know what that growth will look like. There is clearly a need for space.”
The advantage of the Foundation is it can raise money where the library can’t and for purposes the library might find difficult to promote.
“For example,” Rodger said, “we recognize raising money to put on an addition through taxes could be difficult so we’re hoping a resource like the Foundation can provide an additional resource to help with whatever is coming in the future.
"We don’t have a specific plan; we don’t know exactly what’s coming, but we know it is coming.”
Francine Rodger will be the president of the Foundation’s board and Tom Madison, a current library Trustee, is slated to serve as vice president. Sen. Daphne Jordan, R-Halfmoon, a former library Trustee, has asked to serve on the Foundation’s board as has former library Board of Trustees President Vince Aceto.
Michele Gorub will serve on the board as a director representing the Friends of the Library. Ed Rodger will also serve on the Foundation board.
In a statement on the establishment of the Foundation, Madison said it will solicit donations, grants, and contributions from public and private foundations, government agencies and philanthropic organizations. The Foundation’s goal is to raise enough money to establish an endowment that provides the library with sustainable financial support
“We don’t know where it’s going but we hope, like the library, it’ll be around for 50 years,” Ed Rodger said of the Foundation. “I’m looking forward individually and as a group to make this library as great as it’s been for the future. And, if anyone wants to join us, feel free.
"To be blunt about this, we’re trying to raise some money so anything anyone wants to do we’d appreciate.”
For more information on the Foundation contact Francine Rodger at: (518) 331-4011.