FOLA Palooza — Gala to benefit Friends of the Library

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 1/9/19

Grab your suits and put on your dancing shoes, because FOLA Palooza is set for Cleveland on Jan. 18, at the Museum Center at Five Points.

FOLA Palooza is an inaugural fundraiser which …

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FOLA Palooza — Gala to benefit Friends of the Library

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Grab your suits and put on your dancing shoes, because FOLA Palooza is set for Cleveland on Jan. 18, at the Museum Center at Five Points.

FOLA Palooza is an inaugural fundraiser which doubles as a community gala. Hosted by the Friends of the Library Association, the evening is set to be one of Cleveland’s finest social occasions, yet it is open to the public.

Friends of the Library Association is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to supporting the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library.

FOLA President Meg Campbell said FOLA Palooza is one of several methods of fundraising for the library. Another example is the community play put on by the group last year called “Murder of a Lonely Librarian.”

“The play was fantastic, and it was fun. We’d never done it before, and had about 175 people there,” Campbell proudly said.

The play is set for a second annual showing on July 19-20, 2019, so as not to interfere with other community events. Cleveland dignitaries are set to participate, which led FOLA to coin them the “not quite ready for primetime” players.

Since the play was initially scheduled for late 2018, Campbell says they had to find something else to bring to Cleveland during mid-winter, when few events take place. A party, or palooza, was chosen for this month's evenyt, complete with a comedian, a jazz band, barbershop quartet and other singers, and dancers.

“The whole night is going to be like a cabaret,” Campbell explained.

Tickets include an appetizer; a specialty drink called the “FOLA Fizz” complete with complementary glass; and beer and wine selections.

Masquerade masks will also be provided for guests interested in wearing them. A photographer will be present as well.

Three silent auctions are taking place throughout the evening. One will offer a weekend getaway trip; a second will offer a catered dinner for six in your home, provided by a chef; and the final will offer a painted portrait of the winner by local artist Ryan Snyder.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. when food is served. The musical show begins at 7:15.

Tickets cost $75 each or two for $125, and all proceeds go to help FOLA aid the library whenever funds are needed that aren’t in the library’s budget.

The organization has contributed more than $150,000 in the past several years to the library as well as several other initiatives. These include an addition to the new library, restoration of the history branch, Children’s Library and Summer Reading program funds, the Teen Zone “Quiet Partition,” computers, gardening and landscaping, and repair of library equipment and infrastructure.

“In 2017, we put the curtains in the Community Room, to keep all the heat and cold out, and that was $20,000 by itself. Library Director Andy Hunt doesn’t have that kind of money in the budget he’s allotted, so that’s where we come in,” Campbell said.

The proceeds from the FOLA Book Nook, which is a section of the library where guests can purchase used books, all go to the Children’s Library as well.

Campbell says she is hoping more people will join FOLA following FOLA Palooza, as it will spread awareness of the good the organization does to the community.

Depending on your desired level of involvement, memberships cost $10, $15 or $20. If interested in becoming a lifetime member, the cost is $100.

For businesses interested in becoming a FOLA sponsor, sponsorship levels range from Library Book Enthusiast at $500 to Mega Book Worm at $5,000.

Tickets for FOLA Palooza went on sale Jan. 2, 2019, and can be purchased at the library, Southern Heritage Bank and the Chamber of Commerce.

“We hope you will come out, dress up and have a great time, because FOLA needs friends!” Campbell exclaimed.

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