Long Beach Public Library Foundation

15th anniversary of Grape Expectations

Look out for details about the next Grape Expectations on June 9, 2019.

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2018 Library Leadership Award presentation. From left to right: Director of Library Services Glenda Williams, Paul Kennard, who heads the Rotary Reads program; Frank Newell and Rotary Club Scholarship Chair Jane Netherton, who headed the campaign for the Rotary gift to the New Main Campaign; 2018 Library Foundation Board President Susan Redfield, and Rotary Club of Long Beach President Steve Keesal.

On June 10, 2018 we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Grape Expectations! Nearly 300 guests helped us raise more than $180,000 to support our foundation and the enhancements and programs that we make possible at the Main Library and 11 neighborhood library branches.

2018 Durnin Family Award Presentation. From left to right: Charley and Margaret Durnin and Jack and Barbara Irvin.

This year, we were proud to honor the Rotary Club of Long Beach with the 2018 Library Leadership Award and Jack and Barbara Irvin with the 2018 Durnin Family Award. The Rotary Club supports early literacy throughout the city and has made a significant contribution to the future of the Long Beach Public Library with a $250,000 gift to our New Main Campaign to support the future of the new Main Library’s Storytime Theatre and Early Literacy Area. Jack Irvin is completing his 18th year on our Foundation Board. He and his wife, Barbara, have dedicated much time and resources to supporting Library programs that help develop lifelong readers to create a more successful Long Beach.

Live contemporary Bossa Nova music by Caro Pierotto was enjoyed throughout the evening.

As with every Grape Expectations, delicious foods and fine wines took center stage with a wine tasting, appetizer, and silent auction reception followed by a four-course culinary experience by TGIS with wines expertly paired by Randy Kemner, proprietor of The Wine Country.

Andeavor has once again made it possible for our foundation to fund exciting learning opportunities. Andeavor public and government relations manager, Tiffany Rau, presented a $150,000 contribution to the Library Foundation in support of the Mobile Studio. The Mobile Studio allows the Library’s makerspace Studio program to visit libraries, schools, parks, and community events with technology and resources for 3D printing, robotics, coding, and other STEM learning opportunities. Check out the Mobile Studio schedule at lbpl.org/studio

One of our favorite moments of the night truly shows how many people have their lives transformed at the Library. As our Executive Director Kate Azar and Director of Library Services Glenda Williams spoke to the audience about the Library’s Career Online High School program, a member of the waitstaff working the gala that evening approached the stage and introduced herself as a current student in the program and thanked everyone for their support. This program gives a second chance to adults who did not earn their high school diploma during their youth. So far, 34 adults have graduated with an accredited high school diploma. The Library Foundation is proud to provide scholarships to these students, making this program a free opportunity.

Wine tasting and appetizers were sponsored by Beaune Imports, Boathouse on the Bay, Gelson’s, Johnny Rebs’ True South, Revel Wine, Teak Catering, The Henry Wine Group, The Pie Hole, The Wine Country, Wine Warehouse, and Young’s Market Company.

We hope to see you at the next Grape Expectations!

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Your name, in print.

Our upcoming Grape Expectations fundraiser is full of exciting entertainment and extravagant auction items, from a weeklong cooking course in Tuscany to a pie subscription. (Yeah, you read that right.) One of our favorite auction items is a thoroughly unique opportunity to be immortalized in fiction. The highest bidder’s name will be featured in Tyler Dilts‘s, author of the Long Beach Homicide series, next book. The winning bidder will also receive signed copies of all four currently published novels to catch up on the story before reading the one featuring their own name.

For Long Beach natives, reading his novels can feel like a suspenseful tour over once-familiar ground, as homicide detective Danny Beckett examines crime scenes from Warren High School to the mouth of the Los Angeles River. Dilts’s most recent novel, and the fourth in the series, Come Twilight, is an Edgar Award finalist. The author currently teaches at California State University, Long Beach, and his work has been featured in numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Best American Mystery Stories.

While all of our silent auction items are available online prior to the event for those unable to attend, this one is a live auction item—which means only attendees will be bidding for the opportunity to see their name in print this Sunday night at the Grape Expectations gala. The event is sold out, so if you missed your chance to grab a ticket, keep it in mind for next year. We’ll see just how fast Tyler Dilts can finish a manuscript.