Blanchard Community Library Endowment Fund history

October 06, 1999
Santa Paula News
In 1984 a group of interested citizens met to consider ways and means of improving the finances of our Library. Many aspects of financial help and avenues of raising money were considered and carefully studied. As an initial step, a group of Library supporters decided to try to enhance the proceeds from the usual Friends of the Library book sale by hosting a special lawn party and book and fine art auction at the home of Edwin and Janet Beach. That first lawn party was a great success, and made evident two important facts: firstly, that the community was willing and able to rally their support and generate financial assistance for the Library; and, secondly, that in order to make a real difference, a permanent and ongoing source of financial assistance should be established. Two major suggestions were made and adopted by the concerned citizens committee, to wit: 1. Recommend to the governing Board of the Library that it place a District-wide per-parcel assessment (special tax) to be levied on each real property parcel, in a set amount for a fixed period; and2. That a private endowment fund be established to be in place and continue with financial assistance at the end of the tax period.The committee also organized and campaigned for the ballot measure proposing the District-wide per-parcel assessment. Under their campaign the measure passed, a rare occurrence with voluntary tax assessment proposals. After the initial assessment period ran out, the Library sought a second assessment measure, which failed. However, when the committee again rallied their support and campaigning forces, a third measure was successful, and a second per-parcel assessment period began. The purpose of the assessments was to provide immediate supplementary financial assistance to the Library.In accordance with its plan, the committee also established the endowment fund. Of the original founding committee members, Edwin F. Beach was named president, Elizabeth Blanchard was named vice-president, Carl Barringer director, and Leonard Dixon, secretary. Mike Kaplan, a founder of the original committee, shortly thereafter replaced Floyd Griffin as treasurer. Stanton Spencer is now corporate secretary, replacing the late Leonard Dixon.The purpose of the Endowment Fund was to provide an ongoing means of supplemental financial support to the Library. That first lawn party was the first of many that, along with other fund-raising events such as the famous "Jazz Concert" series, contributed to and eventually established the Blanchard Community Library Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund was thus established, Articles of Incorporation were filed and it was recognized as a Charitable Tax Exempt Organization. The hope of the committee was to establish a fund of $250,000, the income thereof to be available and provide assistance to the Library.Through the means of several events such as the lawn parties and jazz concerts, and through additional individual gifts and special donations, the goal was eventually reached; indeed the Fund has surpassed its goal and the principal of the Fund stands at nearly half a million dollars.
The participation of all those who supported and contributed to the growth of this fund by attendance at the various events and by giving of gift donations over and above the admission price is appreciated. In addition to the many citizens who supported the Fund by their attendance at these events, several individuals and families made generous special donations.The Endowment has always provided financial support by giving to the Library District the interest made on its capital. Recently the Endowment has provided support to the Library District by providing the financial means to install a new air conditioning system. The old system at the Library building was insufficient and needed to be replaced. The Library's general operating budget was unable to cover the expense, so the Endowment was asked to assist with the $100,000 cost. The Endowment was able to make an immediate outright gift of $12,500 from the yearly interest earned on their capital. However, the Endowment Fund could not presently give more than that without compromising their capital. So, to cover the rest of the cost, a secured loan was made to the Library District from the Endowment Fund of $87,500, a remedy which keeps the Endowment Fund intact and also provides the necessary funds to the Library. The loan is interest-free, and to be repaid in 15 years. Of course, the Endowment Fund will continue to give to the Library District from yearly-earned interest on the Endowment's capital, thus providing the funds by which the Library may pay back the Endowment.On hand to present the check to Dan Robles for the Library were Endowment Board members Edwin F. Beach, president; Stanton Spencer, corporate secretary; Mike Kaplan, treasurer; and Carl Barringer, founding Board member.As this current event indicates, the Blanchard Library Endowment Fund is an ongoing and vital part of the Library's operation. The Endowment Fund still gratefully accepts any gifts and donations to their Fund. Contributions or inquiries may be sent to BCLEF, c/o Edwin F. Beach, 1500 Say Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060.

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