Always billed as a ‘fun’-raiser, the annual fundraiser held at P.J. Ryan’s (172 First Street), for the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation earned that nickname with providing a relaxed atmosphere, combined with a backyard barbeque and honest-to-goodness, straight-up rock ’n’ roll.
This was the third year for the fundraiser, so it was time to mix it up a little. P.J. Ryan’s went Hawaiian with “Hot Fun in the Summertime” on Thursday evening, September 13th.
“We wanted to give our loyal patrons a different treat, something out of the ordinary,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner, who also serves as executive director of the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation. “That’s how our Hawaiian-style fundraiser came to mind.”
Party-goers walked into a tropical paradise under that tent – with Library Director Priscilla Gardner greeting everyone with the traditional lei around the neck – which was transformed with all things Hawaiian. The music was still be hot…with The Eamonn Ryan Band and Chaz DePaolo providing their brand of covers and bluesy rock, respectively, as always, gratis, because it’s all for the Jersey City Free Public Library.
All proceeds from “Hot Fun in the Summertime” always go towards special funding projects. Our new, state-of-the-art, disabled-accessible Bookmobile became fully-funded with this fundraiser, and we expect the new Bookmobile to be on the road again by the end of November!
The leftover proceeds begin a new fundraising project: Purchasing security cameras for the Main Library and all 11 branches.
The current Board of Trustees for the Library Foundation are Kevin Ward, Chairman; Morris Winograd, Vice Chairman; Michael Ryan, Treasurer; Joseph Panepinto Jr., Corresponding Secretary; Elizabeth Spinelli, Recording Secretary; and Members Joseph A. Turula, Samantha Newman-Webster, Kathleen Hartye and Robert Burke.
“Hosting these fundraisers for the Library Foundation has been a labor of love, ” said Treasurer Mike Ryan, who is co-owner of P.J. Ryan’s. “And seeing the happy faces each year makes me know our efforts are rewarded.”
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