Heatherlyn Johnson Reamer got a little teary while addressing the crowd of supporters gathered at the corner of Island View Road and Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula yesterday to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Peninsula Community Library (PCL).
“I’m very emotional about this,” said Reamer, president of the PCL Board. “We all know why we’re here today. You gave money, and we’re going to build this absolutely beautiful library.”
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Reamer went on to say that she’s a sixth generation cherry farmer, and that her grandmother, Mary Johnson (my mother), sat on the PCL board for 20-some years and was part of the group who had the foresight to purchase the property in the 1990s with this day in mind.
Reamer noted that the capital campaign has raised nearly $2.1 million of their $2.5 million goal in just 22 months. “We still have a little further to go, but not too far,” she said. “Today is a very monumental day, not only for the library, but for the community.”
Christy Kuhnke, President of Tom’s Food Markets and an OMP resident, also spoke at the gathering. Tom’s donated funds for the children’s and teen’s space in the new library, and Kuhnke said it’s an “absolute honor.”
“This is a tremendous joy to be part of this,” she said. “It’s always been part of our operating philosophy to reinvest in the communities where we do business, and to especially focus on lasting and meaningful things that will enrich the lives of our neighbors. What can be more meaningful than a new library?”
Kuhnke added, “There is nothing quite as specially exquisite as the written word. It’s a way for us to share our thoughts, ideas, stories and education, and so there’s just nothing that can top this investment. It’s absolutely very special.”
Reamer thanked all the people responsible for making the new library happen, including the donors, volunteers, supporters, library board members, Peninsula Township board and staff, Peninsula Fire Department, contractor Grand Traverse Construction, engineer Gosling Czubak, Cornwell Architects, and grant donors, which include AcenTek, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Mariel Foundation, Sage Foundation, Towsley Foundation and Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.
Major donors include Mack and Lorraine Beers (naming rights for the Children’s Garden); Tim Carroll (History Room); Bill and Nancy Davy (lead donors); Daniel and Meredith Falconer; Friends of Neahtawanta; Friends of Peninsula Community Library; Paula Kelley (reception area); Ellen Kerr (hearing loop); Jon and Sue Kinne (coffee area and more); Jim and Fran Krupka (back porch); John and Jane Matz; Lisa and Mary Monson representing the McDermott/Fiferek family; Bill and Gretchen Soutear; and Tom’s Food Markets.
Reamer also made special mention of PCL Director Vicki Shurly, noting, “Without her at the helm, we would not be here at this very moment.”
For more information on how you can make a donation to the new Peninsula Community Library, visit the library’s website, call the library, (231) 223-7700, or call PCL Board member John Bercini, (630) 235-1475.
You’re also welcome to support the new library by buying a brick. Click here for more information.
Check out a video of the groundbreaking event by Tim Boursaw, and view a photo gallery below.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb