Three years ago, the Bowman Public Library ran into an issue: they needed a new roof. At the time, the library needed to raise a large amount of funds to pay for the $55,000 project, so they started a silent auction. The auction was a success, and with the help of a community, the library was able to complete their project and then some.
By Frank Turner
“We were able to cover the costs of the new roof, two furnaces, and two air conditioners with that one fundraiser,” said Sarah Snavely.
Every year since, the fundraiser became a yearly tradition, and just last week, the library hosted their 3rd annual silent auction. From September 16th through the 23rd, patrons could browse and bid on a variety of donated goods from local small businesses and community members.
Snavely said that local donors and small businesses are always ready and willing to participate in the fundraiser.
“We get so many donations from so many businesses and people. It’s indicative of the generosity of the community,” said Snavely. “We are lucky to have that level of community spirit here.”
The silent auction offered a wide variety of auction items. Whole sections of the auction were dedicated to hand crafted items, retail goods, and even homemade foods and pastries.
Both Head Librarian Kaitlin Brooks and Snavely donated their own homemade crafts to the auction. Through welding, Brooks turned an old shovel into a decorative owl, and Snavely crafted ceramic buffalos for the auction
“I am very happy to have the homemade items,” said Snavely. “Even the homemade food like the jellies and the honey.”
Although in the past the library has put silent auction proceeds toward kids programs and new books, this year, Snavely said that the library is using the money to buy new lights. New lights are expected to cost the library roughly $13,000.
“As you can see, a lot of these lights are burnt out,” said Snavely, pointing toward the ceiling.
Ultimately, both Snavely and Brooks were thankful for the community’s participation in the auction.
“Hopefully this auction is just another way for the community to interact,” said Snavely. “Money is good, we need that too, but this is really just a way to encourage community spirit.”