By Rick Gardner
On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, the Friends of the Fort Chiswell Library celebrated several milestones for the new Joe Hale Library of Fort Chiswell, Va. At the event, the RCI-IIBEC Foundation was recognized for donating $82,555, which helped the organizers purchase the old First Community Bank building as the library site.
Tony Stroupe, president of the Friends of Fort Chiswell Library, reviewed the organization’s progress, which has included becoming a nonprofit and purchasing the old bank. RCI-IIBEC Foundation Board emeritus director Joe Hale made brief comments. First Community Bank and the numerous VIPs in attendance, including RCI-IIBEC Foundation Board chair Mike Blanchette, IIBEC CEO/EVP Brian Pallasch, IIBEC member Elizabeth Grant, and RCI-IIBEC Foundation development officer Rick Gardner, were recognized.
“We would not be standing here today without the help of the RCI-IIBEC Foundation,” Stroupe said. “I would like to thank everyone with the Foundation and their donors for all the help they have given us. We have a long road ahead of us to get this building paid off and ready to go, but we are going to get it done.”
“This is what this library is all about…We have to give back, and we have an opportunity to pay it forward to provide education and technology for our young people,” said Joe Hale. “We are looking forward to continued community help in the future as this project develops. One of our next steps is to become part of the regional library system.”
Hale added, “I believe we can be whatever we dream to be.”
“It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this endeavor,” said Blanchette. “I’m very impressed with the folks in this local community, how excited and anxious they are for this project to proceed. After meeting with several of the community members, the Foundation is proud to have helped make this possible. I’m hoping we can continue to be active in this.”
The library is now accepting book donations. The need for financial contributions continues. For more information, visit https://rci-iibecfoundation.org/donate.aspx or contact RCI-IIBEC development officer, Rick Gardner at Rgardner@iibec.org or 919-859-0742.