HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill Library honors its volunteers

Cherry Hill Library honors its volunteers

In 2011, members of the community, students and friends donated more than 10,120 volunteer hours to the Cherry Hill Public Library.

So last month, staff at the library said thank you by throwing a breakfast event, complete with hot food and coffee. Staff recognized members of the Friends of the Library and other volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

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“We can’t say anymore than thank you,” said library director Manuel Paredes. “The sign outside says it’s the heart of town and you guys really make it the heart of town.”

Library Board of Trustees President Diane Koury Alessi and Treasurer Jeffrey Swartz thanked volunteers for helping to raise money for the library. Alessi said she is proud of the work volunteers do at book sales, flea markets and bus trips.

“The board certainly could not do work without your tireless hours,” she said. “I’m incredibly impressed with your ability to raise funds for your library.”

Mayor Chuck Cahn stopped by the event and awarded two proclamations to outgoing co-presidents of the Friends of the Library, Rosemary Leach and Bryna Thaler.

“You’re the lifeblood of the community. Thank you all for the time and commitment you make,” Cahn said to the audience.

Thaler, a longtime volunteer, said she fondly looks back on her time serving the library.

“Being a friend has been a part of my life before and after the Malcom Wells building,” Thaler said. “Thanks to everyone who is a friend and volunteers who make the library such a success.”

Leach said she’s proud of the work the friends and many volunteers do to make the library the best it can be, but recognized that the biggest area of growth has been seen through the work of the junior friends of the library, which was modeled after the group and began in January 2011.

So far, the junior friends have raised $1,800 through hoagie sales and fashion shows, said Nancy Baasch-Schweizer, the library’s volunteer coordinator.

Library staff also honored 23 volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Nine adults and 14 teens were recognized at the event, and also received a letter from President Obama thanking them for their service to the community.

The Friends of the Library also presented three scholarships to Cherry Hill seniors for academics, community involvement and essays written on the subject, “How would you improve the Cherry Hill Public Library so that it has a greater impact on the community?”

Wendy Cheng, a senior at Cherry Hill West, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and plans to study business at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. She was the valedictorian of her senior class and president of the Junior Friends of the Library.

Cherry Hill East senior Lily Campbell was awarded a $500 scholarship to attend the University of Southern California to study global health.

Cherry Hill East senior Rachel Lisner was awarded a $250 scholarship from the friends. She said she hasn’t decided where to go to college, but plans to study journalism.

“The best thing I can do is say thanks. I remember the old library, getting videos and Pokémon videos,” she said. “I’m glad to be here.”


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