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'Best ever' library benefit on Friday could be a sellout

The Lahaina News
June 21, 2012


KAANAPALI - An expected 400 attendees will savor the sunset and Mediterranean cuisine, bid on coveted auction items (including a five-day stay at a historic Monterey Bay, California area beach house) and enjoy the music of the JD on the Rocks band on the ocean lawn of the Royal Lahaina Resort on Friday, June 22.

The third annual "Savor the Sunset" event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lahaina to improve Lahaina Public Library promises to be the "best ever," according to club President Eric van Ketel.

Hosted by restaurateur Mark Ellman, "Savor the Sunset" is adding a new fun feature: the opening of a high-value treasure chest by one of 250 mystery keys sold to guests who want to add to their support of the project, said event Chair Liz May. Only one of the 250 keys will open the chest.

Guests can check availability and obtain tickets by calling the offices of 5A Rent-A-Space at 669-5200. Last year's event was a sellout. Advance tickets are $50, with some possibly available at the door for $60.

Proceeds from key sales and scores of auction items will help to complete the facelift of the interior of the library scheduled to begin in July.

Rotary and Maui Friends of the Library have already raised more than $60,000 through grants, previous "Savor the Sunsets" and individual contributions.

The biggest boost to the effort will be the $155,000 contribution of services and materials from 15 area contractors and businesses.

Project planners describe the Rotary initiative as a model for similar efforts that could be started for other libraries in the county and state.

The lunchtime Rotary Club first identified the need for public support in 2010, when the state library system announced it was considering closing either the Hana or Lahaina library due to fiscal constraints.

After the state decided against the idea, the first "Savor the Sunset" proceeds and a contribution by the cooperating Maui Friends of the Library purchased new furniture for Lahaina Public Library.

The two organizations then embarked on the larger project.

The North Beach-West Maui Benefit Fund subsequently purchased a $50,000 book security system that has allowed the library's Front Street entrance to be open during library hours for the first time in its 55-year history.

Maui Friends of the Library also added a $25,000 self-checkout station.

Earlier this year, the state found funds to replace the library's lineup of computers.

Lahaina Librarian Madeleine Buchanan pointed out that the facility adjoining Lahaina Harbor routinely receives rave reviews for its picturesque setting, ample light provided by some 150 windows and "old fashioned," friendly atmosphere.

North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund, Inc.

P O BOX 11329
LAHAINA, Hawaii 96761