Kiwanis Club of Aurora members present a ceremonial check April 6 for a last payment on a $100,000 pledge to the Aurora Public Library Foundation to name the Children’s Corner at the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora in downtown Aurora. Club president Kim Groom is center. From left are Larry Frieders, president when the idea first evolved; Michaela Haberkern, Aurora Public Library executive director; Kim Groom; John McKee, an instrumental member of the Kiwanis committee; and Cheryl Vonhoff, president subsequent to Larry Frieders. Carter Crane/The Voice
By Amy Roth, Kiwanis Club of Aurora
The Kiwanis Club of Aurora recently made the last payment of a $100,000 pledge to the Aurora Public Library Foundation to name the Children’s Center at the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora in downtown Aurora.
Through the work of Kiwanians John McKee, Cheryl Vonhoff, and Larry Frieders, who was president of the Kiwanis Club of Aurora at the time, the Library Foundation accepted a $100,000 naming donation to be paid off in five years.
Club members gathered in the Kiwanis Children’s Center at the Santori Library April 6 for the final check ceremony.
“With the assistance of the late Hal Beebee, then Kiwanis Club treasurer, and conversational assurance from his wife, Pat, Kiwanis members could afford the $100,000 grant over the period of five years,” said Kiwanis Club president Kim Groom. The club voted unanimously to support funding for the children’s area of the Library.
Four presidents dedicated their “President’s Project” funds of $5,000 per year to the library commitment. They were: Cheryl Vonhoff, Clyde Shields, Bill Donnell, and Kim Groom.
“We are all about serving children, so what a nice way to give back to the children in our community through the Library,” Groom said.
“The Kiwanis pledge funded the educational gaming computers, the gorgeous cloud ceiling, the fun floor treatments, and ongoing programs like 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and the supplies and equipment that support learning through play – think the play kitchen and the magnet tables,” said Michaela Haberkern, executive director of the Library.
“The Library was always going to have a children’s department, no doubt about that, but the support we got from the Kiwanis Club made it a truly beautiful and amazing and responsive place for children to learn and grow and explore,” Haberkern said.
“Aurora Public Library and Foundation extend heartfelt gratitude to Kiwanis Club of Aurora for investing in the children in our community,” said Laura Stoney, the Foundation manager.
“I work in the Kiwanis Children’s Center weekly. I love it and I see first-hand the smiles of kids (and adults) and how they learn through play, social interaction, fun activities and with caregivers. Thank you, Kiwanis Club of Aurora.”