NEWINGTON – The Newington Library 5K Challenge has been canceled, but there is still an opportunity to support the library and have a chance at winning some prizes.
The Lucy Robbins Welles Library’s Board of Trustees turned their popular road race and annual fundraiser into a “Ready, Set, Go Giveaway” this year.
“We lost our fundraiser and had all of the post-race raffle prizes still in our hands so we thought this would be a good way to distribute everything,” Library Trustee Anna Eddy said.
Now anyone – including those who would have been unable to walk or run in the 5K this past May – can make a donation and will be entered into a prize drawing. There are over $1,000 in prizes up for grabs, including gift cards to local restaurants and businesses.
The road race was originally planned for the third Sunday in May, then delayed until October. It was recently canceled after a reevaluation with the Central Connecticut Health District and town officials.
Although some larger organizations have moved their road races to a virtual platform this year, that’s not a possibility in this case.
“We just don’t have the staff and volunteers to pull off the virtual race,” Board President Diane Stamm said. “Still our sponsors are great and have stuck by us and we want to be able to share the prizes we have collected with the people in the community who support us year after year.”
The Board of Trustees is a non-profit group that supports improvements inside the library facility not covered under the Town of Newington’s annual operating budget.
Over the last few years, funds raised by the annual 5K have been utilized to renovate a parent-and-child reading nook in the Children’s Department and refurbish a community meeting room. The trustees have also reupholstered library furniture and replaced shutters on the building.
Stamm said the trustees are still exploring options for their next project. A maker space is one idea being discussed.
“The next big step is making renovations and expansions, but there are always smaller projects we can accommodate,” Stamm said.
The drawing will be held as a virtual event on Oct. 5. A $10 minimum donation equals one entry, $20 equals three entries and $30 or more equals 10 entries. People who donate will also receive a LRWL Dining Partner Ticket with discounts and coupons for local eateries, plus a coupon for a free sandwich at Chick-fil-A in Newington.
The library has continued to provide services for the community throughout the pandemic. Although the facility is still closed to the public, staff are available during regular hours to answer questions over the phone and assist with remote access. Adults, children and teens have been participating in a plethora of virtual programming and events. In addition, the curbside “Lucy To-Go” service has continued to provide members their desired library materials.
To participate in the Ready, Set, go, Giveaway, visit newingtonct.gov/2655/ready-set-go-giveaway to make a donation online or download a mail-in donation form.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.